Saturday 23 June 2018 4.30pm
‘Almost the launch of the Marsfield Orpheum’ 2018
The guests have almost all arrived. 7 adults and 4 children. Trying to sort out what kids aged 13, 11, 7 and 5 can agree to watch in Cinema 3.
Tonight, my screening of Lawrence of Arabia will be the second biggest event of the 52-week Year of Joy/Year from Hell, so far. The first was Gone with the Wind. One nearly as big was a screening of Ben Hur (1959) about six years ago. Tonight I’m excited because there’s only two Saturdays left. After this film finishes I have about eight films I want to see in the next seven days before everything concludes at midnight June 30, 2018.
I don’t remember where I saw Lawrence of Arabia for the first time, but I was in my mid-twenties and it was probably at the Cremorne Orpheum. It was probably 1988 when the Robert A. Harris restoration was released. The second time was definitely at the Cremorne Orpheum, probably in 1991 or 1992 when they did one-off screenings of the big spectacles: films like Ben Hur, 2001, Spartacus, El Cid and Gone with the Wind. If I saw the film as a teenager – on television – with 80-minutes of advertisements – I don’t remember. This, however, to my mind, was my third time. Also my only time not watching it on a massive screen. The Cremorne Orpheum main cinema is one those grand old Dress Circles, with a very large screen which seats about 800, I’m guessing. I’ve seen revivals of Back to the Future, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Untouchables there as well. I’ve seen 2001 at least twice in that cinema, too.
Tonight I’m watching Lawrence of Arabia from the very back of my half-built renovated theatrette. The build wasn’t quite finished in time for this event to which I invited twelve people. If I’d had another 48-hours, I think we would have had the three levels of tiered seating complete. As it was, we had seating for the seven adults who were able to make it and it was very comfortable.
The kids watched Despicable Me 2 and Big Hero 6.