A Report From the AGM

My first time at Hyde Park Picture House (HPPH) was to see Much Ado About Nothing in 1993 – I was still at High School. I’m a huge Keanu Reeves fan and because this film was not to be shown at the former Odeon or ABC cinemas, off I went to the HPPH feeling exceptionally cultured to watch my true love play a plain-dealing Shakespearean villain.

I’m sure there are many of us who have similar first-time memories of visiting the HPPH. I took the opportunity to volunteer to contribute blog posts to the Friends of Hyde Park Picture House (The Friends) and was really excited about being invited to attend the AGM and to write a report from the perspective of a new volunteer.

The AGM

The meeting started with committee member Ian Sanderson giving a tribute of a founding member and former Chair Peter Chandley who died last year. It was nice to hear about Peter and how passionate he was about the cinema.

10% of members needed to be in attendance at the meeting to be quorate (having the necessary number of people present for decisions to be made). There were only 49 at the meeting out of approximately 700 members. I wondered how well it had been advertised and if the importance of being in attendance was stressed, especially if decisions were to be made.  Fortunately there were only procedural matters that required a vote this year and these will be carried over to a Special General Meeting on July 15th.  The Friends are now a registered charity and the committee wanted the group to stay focussed and relevant to members (who pay an annual membership fee) and recognise the importance of getting more people to attend future AGMs.

The purpose of the committee and The Friends was discussed at length and to me, it was not as clear as it should be (something the committee acknowledged and want to work on). When the cinema was in danger of closing, The Friends are the ones who saved it. Now it’s thriving and from January 2020-December 2020 the cinema will be closed and massive renovations will take place. Plans will be to add a second screen, meeting rooms, to extend opening times, to increase programming and the number of film-related activities.

Where will The Friends fit into this new phase of specialist film showing in Leeds? One way is to ensure that HPPH continues to deliver a good variety of films. Should the HPPH be doing more or something different?

Wendy Cook (Head of Cinema) continued the meeting with an informative presentation on what had been achieved throughout the past year such as showing 374 different films and hosting 1172 private events. Two new members of staff have been recruited to join the small team – Creative Engagement Officer and Young Audience Officer. The HPPH is expanding into a new entity and the committee of The Friends would like to expand with it. There was a call for more volunteers to join the committee that reflects the community of Leeds. The Friends ultimately are the voice of the community who love and appreciate specialist films.

It’s an exciting time of change.

All ideas and names of potential committee members should be submitted before the 15 July 2019 via the contact form, Twitter (@friendsofhpph) or Facebook (FOHPPH) which is when there will be a Special General Meeting.

Meeting Highlights

  • The membership scheme is under review (suggestions are welcome)
  • Volunteers are needed to help sift through the archives
  • The topic of reinstating film appreciation clubs and group discussions was suggested
  • A variety of alternative venues will be used throughout the temporary closure
  • More blog contributors are needed

Links

Let the Right One In (Sweden, 2008)

Showing in memory of Peter Chandley as part of our 2019 AGM
Sunday 16th June: AGM 1pm,  Film 3:30pm
Let The Right One In

This work of art is a romance … a love story, but with vampires. The clue is in the title. Vampires must be invited in before they can safely enter someone’s home. But Let the Right One In is not simply a story of vampires, or a fresh take on serial killing. The film opens with Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) exclaiming : “Squeal like a pig. So, squeal.” Our film tells a story of loneliness, of being picked on, of seeking revenge; and also of acceptance, loyalty and friendship.

Our backdrop is a snowy suburb of Stockholm in 1982. The locals cope with the desolation, freezing temperatures and the absence of sunshine through companionship, shots of alcohol, and Swedish humour. Lacke (Peter Carlberg): Thank you again for another evening steeped in merriment and friendship. Let the Right One In is a story told in pictures rather than words. You will discover that not everything is as it seems in the suburb of Blackeberg. Our film is also a story about identity, mortality, and sacrifice. The title’s English translation from the Swedish original is taken from lyrics to the song “Let the Right One Slip In” by Morrissey. And this sentiment applies to both love and dreams. While the film has a wintry backdrop a little red or orange colour creeps into most scenes. Expect surprises!

The central characters are Oskar and Eli (Lina Leandersson). Theirs is a beautifully acted, poignant relationship that seems to raise more questions than answers. We see humour and sensitivity. But underneath, is that a dark and dysfunctional friendship or a demonstration of love and interdependence? Are Oskar and Eli two sides of the same coin? Is there a barrier between them?

The end of Let the Right One In leaves us to ponder the future. Is anything resolved? Have we seen a happy ending? The film gives food for thought. Let the Right One In has won many awards for direction (director Tomas Alfredson), cinematography, acting and screenplay. John Ajvide Lindqvist wrote the screenplay which is adapted from his novel.

The Friends of the Hyde Park Picture House are screening this film in memory of Peter Chandley. Until his death late last year Peter was the Chair of the Friends, and we are indebted to him for the part he played in saving the cinema from closure in the 1980’s. Peter was an enthusiast for films like Let the Right One In. We hope you can join us.

The film forms part of the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Hyde Park Picture House on Sunday 16th June and both are free for members. It’s really important that we get at least 70 people to attend in order to be quorate so please try and make it along if you can.


Bill Walton

AGM 2015

Sunday 17th May at The Hyde Park Picture House

The Annual General Meeting is an opportunity for members to meet and find out what’s been happening within the Friends and at the cinema in general as well as our plans for the future. It is also an opportunity for members to have their say. And there’s a buffet. Which is always worth mentioning.

Members are invited to start arriving from 12.45pm for a 1pm start.

  1. Register of attendance and apologies. Please bring your membership card along and show it upon arrival at the Picture House.
  2. Minutes of 2014 AGM (to be mailed out to members nearer the time of the AGM) including matter arising.
  3. An update on the application to register as a charity.
  4. Chair’s Report
  5. Treasurer’s Report
  6. Election of committee and officers
  7. Report of the General Manager of the Picture House and an opportunity for questions from Members.
  8. Any Other Business

The meeting will be drawn to a close around 2.30pm and members are invited to join us for a buffet followed by a screening at 3.30pm of Louis Malle’s 1987 drama AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS about a French boarding school which seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate and rival of natural leader Julien but a special bond quickly forms and a secret is shared.