Popular film club offers a ‘cinema for all’

The Ropetackle Film Club gave their first cinematic experience to the blind or partially sighted
The Ropetackle Film Club gave their first cinematic experience to the blind or partially sighted

A popular film club put on a new kind of cinema experience to accommodate the blind or partially sighted.

The Ropetackle Film Club, ran at the Ropetackle Arts Centre, in Little High Street, Shoreham, offered the new cinematic experience for the first time last Wednesday.

More than twenty people headed down to the film club to see ‘The Lady in the Van’, a 2015 blockbuster starring actress Maggie Smith and the club used audio description for the first time.

Although this is not a large number of people, it was a ‘positive attendance,’ said committee member, Simon Thorpe, 57, of Oxen Avenue, Shoreham, who has been a member of the club’s committee for five years.

He added: “We were absolutley thrilled – given the fact this was the first attempt to produce a cinematic experience for people with some or all sight loss, we received excellent feedback.

“The experience was aimed at a small percentage of people in the area and we feel we may have had nearly everyone we could have had – and they were thrilled to be able to go to a cinema again.”

The arts venue is ran by and for the local community – and over the last five years its film club, ran by 12 volunteers and committee members – has become a ‘cinema for all’, offering blockbusters, matinees, mother and baby showings, as well as the successful ‘Celebrating Film in Sussex’ last year, where five films made in or about Sussex were shown to guests.

The film club is the first to offer the cinematic experience in the area and its committee felt they had the capacity and expertees to offer the ‘cinema for all’.

The club plan to have more showings and hopes to extend these to the deaf or partially deaf next year. To find out more about what is planned or to become a member, email Ropetacklefilmclub@gmail.com.

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