On 2 July 2010, Filmhouse is officially 25 years old. The project that began in 1979, to bring a two screen arthouse cinema with a Cafe Bar into being, was completed and celebrated at an official opening event hosted by HRH Prince Philip. To celebrate the anniversary Filmhouse presents a special season of films that represent the remarkable richness and diversity of the programme over those years and will host a Family Fun Day in Festival Square on Saturday 17 July.
In 1979 an old boarded-up Church became the home of a new venture in cultural cinema. A 100-seat auditorium (now cinema 2) accessed via Morrison Street Lane was the fairly inauspicious start and the listed front of the building was to remain inaccessible for some years to come. By 1985 things had been transformed. A new 280-seat auditorium and bar were added and the front entrance opened up. That was how things remained until 1997 when the functions hall was turned into a third screen.
Since its inception Filmhouse has been the home of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and has been host to many film luminaries such as Martin Scorsese, Andrei Tarkovsky, Sean Connery and James Mason.
The present Filmhouse has 3 cinemas, which are open to the public seven days a week. Cinema One screens the latest international releases and presents special events with guests talking about their work in different branches of the film industry. Cinemas Two and Three include a wider range of material from the history of world cinema, 16mm, video and digital video work.
The result is that Filmhouse presents a more varied programme than any other cinema in the country. The choice that is available to the people of Edinburgh and the many tourists who visit the city makes Filmhouse one of the leading entertainment and cultural venues in the Capital City.
To celebrate the anniversary, Filmhouse has put together a season of 25 films released across those 25 years that represent the remarkable richness and diversity of the programme over those years. A 26th film was voted for by Filmhouse regulars, who chose Wim Wenders’ 1987 arthouse classic Wings of Desire.
Filmhouse will also host a Family Fun Day on Saturday 17 July in Festival Square, which will include free screenings of classic family films on the BBC’s Big Screen, entertainment and surprises. The day begins at 11am with one of the most famous short films ever made, Albert Lamorisse’s delightful 1956 fantasy The Red Balloon, followed by the classic Disney animation The Jungle Book. Completing the line-up is one of the most enduring comedies to emerge from the silent movie era, Buster Keaton’s The General with live piano accompaniment.
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