On Sunday February 12th, the Picture House team, armed with a couple of cameras, a microphone and a decent biscuit selection, set up shop by what was once the main entrance of the Whiteladies Picture House. Our goal was to meet and talk to anyone who had an opinion of the building past, present or future, to share memories as well as our ideas for what it could offer in the future. The response we got sent us home 7 hours later with our noses cold but our hearts warm and our minds racing!
Over the day we spoke to so many people we probably would’ve lost count if they weren’t all eager to join our mailing list and be kept up to date on our plans. They ranged from local councillors eager to share thoughts on the importance of Bristol’s cinematic heritage, to young mothers looking for the educational and creative opportunities a local dedicated arts centre could provide; from friends recalling their regular visits from the 1950’s up to it’s closing, to the former chief projectionist of the cinema for some 30 years. Overwhelmingly, the impression given by everyone we spoke to was a desire to see the Picture House return in any form that celebrates it’s original purpose – as a place for the community to come together and enjoy the arts.
We spoke to local amateur dramatics groups looking for that mid-size venue Bristol is currently lacking, to film enthusiasts that see the strength in offering film programming that promotes diversity across the history of cinema. A lot of kind people were even happy to go on camera for us, so the first of our video blogs will be up in the near future.
So – a gigantic thank you to everyone that stood in the cold and shared with us what they loved about the Whiteladies Picture House, and what it could be in the future. We know it isn’t going to be a quick or easy journey, but meeting each and every one of you was a huge boost for what we know we can achieve in 2012. For those of you unable to attend, do not worry, we hope to hold more events like this in the future and look forward to meeting many more of you soon.
Finally, a huge thank you to all our volunteers who came down to help and an even bigger thank you to Planet Pizza for keeping both us and our visitors in much-needed tea and coffee! A very kind gesture indeed.
We’ll be in touch via the mailing list soon regarding any developments. Anyone reading who hasn’t signed up can do so HERE. Also be sure to follow us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER for up-to-the-minute progress reports and more on our intentions for the future of this much-missed Bristol landmark.