More Festive Fun

Unfortunately we haven’t been able to put on our Christmas screening this year but there are other events and festive treats to be found online. Heart’s Lockdown Film Club continues on Fridays (see Bill’s post for details), the Kennington Bioscope seasonal special is happening tonight (7:30pm Youtube) and Carol Morley is bringing her Friday Film Club back for a festive special this Friday (18th December) at 8pm.

Director Jeanie Finlay has visited the Picture House a few times with Sound It Out and most recently Seahorse. Her 2015 film tells the story of how a small community theatre fights to keep afloat in austere times so is perhaps even more relevant today.

“The film captures magnificently the spirit of the production in all its chaotic, funny, joyful and exhilarating glory”


“Wonderfully uplifting”


A link to watch the film for free will be available on Friday (see @CarolMorley‘s Twitter page or the #FridayFilmCub hashtag for more details ), the idea is to watch at the same time and then go on Twitter to discuss the film. If you’re not on Twitter you can still watch the film and tell us what you thought in the comments below.

We’ll keep an eye out for any other online events or great films that available to watch at home over the festive period and hope that you all manage to still find a way to enjoy the holiday period.

Christmas Screening Suggestions

Now October is here it’s time for us to start thinking about Christmas. Every year the Friends organise a free Christmas screening for members and this year we’d like your help to select a film. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Christmas film but should be one that captures the festive spirit. Our recent screenings (see below) have tended towards classic films but there have been a lot of new festive films recently. It’s likely to be the last Friends event before the closure so it would be good to make it special.

Leave a comment, contact us or post your ideas on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll collate all the suggestions and see what we can do. Please let us have your suggestions by Sunday 20th October and It’s A Wonderful Life will be having it’s traditional screening at the Picture House so we (probably?) won’t be showing that.

Previous Christmas Screenings include:

Friends’ Christmas Screening: Fargo

Thursday 15th December, doors 7:15pm, film 8:30pm


Fargo (TV) Christmas Cards available from RedBubble

Our annual Christmas screening this year is the Coen Brothers’ Fargo. Jerry Lundegaard is a car salesman in Minneapolis who has landed himself deep into debt. Desperate for money, he hires two inept crooks to kidnap his own wife in the hope that her wealthy father will pay the ransom. But when Jerry’s plan goes horribly wrong, Marge Gunderson – a pregnant but persistent police chief in rural Minnesota – is brought in to try and unravel the deadly scheme.

Members are invited to join us any time from 7:15pm for sherry, mince pies and a chance to look at plans for the HLF scheme. The film won’t begin until after 8:30 though so arrive whenever suits you. We anticipate this will be a well attended screening so if you would definitely like to see the film can you please RSVP to Wendy before 10th December.

Christmas in Connecticut

For our Friends’ Christmas special this year we are pleased to present Christmas in Connecticut (1945) this Wednesday 14th December.


Members are invited to join us from 5.45pm for a mince pie and a glass of sherry and to meet and speak with other members of the Friends then the film will screening shortly after 6.30pm.

This showing is free to members of the Friends but everybody is welcome and normal ticket prices apply to non members.

The film follows a sharp writer who, despite never setting foot in a kitchen, writes a cooking column for a women’s magazine. In order to trick her publisher, she poses as a happy homemaker, complete with husband, baby and country estate. Her goose is cooked when the publisher arranges for her to host a sailor over the Christmas holidays. The journalist has to marry her boyfriend, find a home and prepare a spectacular meal for a huge magazine spread. Things grow even more complicated when she starts to fall for her guest.

It’s a Wonderful Life USA 1945

From Friday December 18th until Thursday 24th.


This classic film comes round every Christmas. Some of the audience revisit an old favourite; some taste its pleasures for the time. After over six decades of success one would think that there is nothing left to say or write about this film. But, just as it finds new fans, it also stimulates fresh insights and comments. With an unusual stance Sandy Irvine in Picturing a Planet in Peril (Introducing Green Issues to Film Studies in Splice Volume 3 issue 2, Spring 2009) writes:

“Take, for example, the popular evergreen It’s a Wonderful Life by Frank Capra, released in 1945. The major driving force in environmental destruction is simply human overpopulation, and George Bailey [James Stewart] and his wife [Donna Reed] generously contribute to the population boom by parenting four children, instead of just ‘replacing’ themselves with two (indeed, in real life, actress Donna Reed was a mother of four).”

This aspect possibly escapes most members of the audience. And I am sure that you can enjoy the film and not worry about population during its screening. There is an unexpressed assumption here. That George should follow in his parent’s virtuous footsteps: not just by taking on the Building and Loan Society, but also in only fathering two children: in their case George and his brother Harry (Todd Karns).

I have to confess that I would have been hard put to name the four Bailey children. I looked it up, Janie Bailey (Carol Combs), Pete Bailey (Jimmy Hawkins), Tommy Bailey (Larry Simms), Zuzu Bailey (Karolyn Grimes). However, I could name Clarence’s (Henry Travers) favourite book, Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. And I could identify one of Uncle Bill’s (Thomas Mitchell) pets as a squirrel.

So if you have a new insight over the coming week why not post a comment?

Friends’ Christmas Screening – Scrooge, Sunday 13th December

Members  of the Friends Of Hyde Park Picture House are cordially invited to an afternoon of festival celebration on Sunday 13th December.

Doors will open at 1:45pm for a 2pm presentation by Julia Thomason from David Clarke Associates, the consultancy firm the Picture House is working with to develop a plan for the future of the building. From 2:15pm we’ll  be serving  sherry and mince pies and there will be time for questions and discussion on the future of the Picture House.

At 3pm our feature presentation is the 1951 version of SCROOGE starring Alastair Sim – possibly the most famous retelling of Dickens’ classic tale of an old miser given the chance to change his ways one bitter and cold Christmas Eve.


Tickets are free to members but please RSVP by Monday 7th December to, via the Facebook event or by letting the box office know you wish to attend. Non-members are welcome to attend the screening section of the afternoon though they must purchase a ticket as per a normal screening.

There are also a number of other Christmas films showing in December including  Joyeux Noël (Sat 5th), Muppets Christmas Carol (Sat 12th & Sun 20th), Home Alone (Sat 19th) and from Friday 19th two quite different films taking place on Christmas Eve, Tangerine and of course It’s A Wonderful Life.