Twickenham Film House?

Calm down, it doesn’t exist and there’s not even a plan. But apart from those small obstacles it does sound good doesn’t it? A brief tweet last night (n.b. all tweets are brief) from @julie_twickers sparked a flurry of retweets and responses. What did she say? Well, she simply said: “Wouldn’t it be great to have a cinema back in Twickenham? How could we progress this idea? @twickerati @twickenhamlocal @AmyDyduch”. Did we say ‘flurry’ of retweets? It was more like a bloody frenzy. A Twickenham-esque restrained frenzy, perhaps.

So could it work? Would it work? And where would it be? And who would go there? And why? Enough already! You’ve probably got the idea by now. A multiplex? That’s not going to happen. An arty little affair showing the better class of films just like Richmond Filmhouse? Well, that’s a maybe because Richmond Filmhouse is no more – it’s the Curzon Richmond these days, part of a small chain. How about something like the Olympic Cinema in Barnes showing films with a trendy cafe bar to boot? Sounds good but would it be sustainable in Twickenham? Perhaps.

The planned ‘Twickenham Theatre‘ in the space upstairs at the London Road bar says it will show films. Or how about the cultural venue proposed as part of the Brewery Wharf development (aka former Royal Mail Sorting Office) opposite Twickenham station? All good. But there’s a difference between showing films and having a cinema… in a dedicated space, with comfy cinema seats, first rate sound and that whole ‘experience’ thing going on.

A Twickenham Filmhouse? When it comes to the if, when, where and why, only you know the answer to that but perhaps it really is time for someone to step forward? Someone with very, very deep pockets, of course.

9 Comments

Filed under Random Stuff

9 responses to “Twickenham Film House?

  1. Anonymous

    well isn’t this in the plans for the old sorting office site???
    would be nice to have a cinema, but the main problem would be who is rich enough to regularly go these days???
    you can pay from £10 to £15 EACH (depending on time of day, age, and type of screening) – get a small screen in Richmond, or a good choice of big screens if you go to Feltham or Kingston…

    or you can rent/buy online (Tesco already has ‘gravity for only ) get a DVD for the whole family and friends for about the same price, but if you have 10 people watching on your big screen bluray system, this works out at only 1 or 2 pounds each.. or payment in beer and munchies! oh, and you can pause it when rest break is needed, no missing the film!!

    this is why the cinemas are going, they just keep increasing prices… 😦

    • Anonymous

      sorry, seemed to be a problem yesterday, could not see post! 😦
      what is really needed is something like a ‘book club’ including DVDs.. only problem is, DVDs are not as ‘robust’ as books, the pages are still readable even though they are torn!!! :O 🙂

  2. I have been toying with the idea of a cinema club for Twickenham, films chosen for members by members, coffee, cake, beer etc. A brief introduction by the nominating member followed by a discussion after.
    Anyone fancy mucking in? . we could ask or some funding. Suitable venue? The ball room next to York House maybe
    thoughts welcome

  3. I don’t have deep pockets at all but you can count with me for this project.

  4. Alas the Gaumont, Regal and Odeon have all been demolished. There is one old ex-cinema building still standing in Twickenham and that is next to the Oak Lane petrol station, the petrol staion by the way was built on the site of the Gaumont. The building to the left of the petrol station was an early silent film cinema named the Lyric. Maybe it could be home for a new community cinema.

  5. Stateofconfloption

    An ideal spot would be the former cinema right next to the Oak Lane petrol station, which is owned by LBRUT and seems to be unused now. It doesn’t look much from the front but have you seen how far back it goes?

  6. Long-time lurker, first-time poster. As a film-buff I alternate between despair (at the grimy Odeons in Richmond and Kingston where profit comes above customer experience) and delight at the swathe of quality cinemas just a short bus/train ride away, such as the Curzons (Richmond, Wimbledon, central London) and the new Olympic in Barnes. Places where the whole film-going experience feels curated and cared for, from ticket booth to projection room.

    While I’d love another great cinema – and one just yards from my Twickenham doorstep – there comes a point where there are too many options, and all suffer from a diluted market. This will be especially true as more Hollywood studios veer towards a download, view-at-home experience – a time when cinema-going will only be for either big ‘event’ pics that you have to see on the biggest screen possible (think Gravity) or a couture experience for the indie-loving cinema cogniscenti.

    From my terms, it’s all about supporting those that do it well, often (and praising them). And getting the tatty cinemas such as the Odeons to buck their ideas up (either by writing letters of complaint, or boycotting them).

  7. George

    It’s a nice idea but it sounds like it would be a labour of love more than a sound commercial proposition. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen but starting from scratch it’s going to need a lot of work if it’s going to be a dedicated ‘art house’ type cinema. Perhaps it’s something that Twickenham Studios could develop to help link it in to the film industry and heritage in the area? I would imagine that Richmond would be a more likely location and that’s already got 3 cinemas. Otherwise just having a decent multi-use venue in Twickenham would be a boost.