Secular and sacred

We took in a film yesterday afternoon, travelling down to the small town of Penistone which is about thirty minutes south of Morley. A definite asset to the town is the Penistone paramount, a venue with a cinema (and stage) history since 1915. It has had several names, but took on the name of Paramount in 1999 when a large theatre organ was installed, originally from the Birmingham Paramount theatre, a unique thirties phenomenon when Paramount Pictures transplanted a handful of American Movie Palaces in British Cities. (The others were in Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh, although fifty were originally planned before the depression put paid to that and Odeon bought the lot).

The Penistone venue doesn’t look overly impressive on the exterior (particularly from the car park) but inside it is warm and welcoming. It seats 351 in Stalls & Circle, with a premium being charged for the upstairs seats. (We had a Grandma with us so stayed down). Unusually, the cinema has a large bar just off the stalls which allows drinks into the auditorium (in plastic glasses).

Last time we went to the Paramount (to see Chicken Little) there had been a show on the previous week and they had forgotten to remove a mirror ball from the advance lighting bar which impinged somewhat into the projector beam, However, the projectionist personally apologised to everyong in the auditorium individially in the interval!

Yesterday we went to see “Madagascar: Return 2 Africa” which was entertaining, even if something of a repeat of the original formula.

In the evening, we went along to a local Morley Church for Carols by Candlelight (which was a partial lie- there were candles lit but ceiling florrys as well). David has strong ties with the “Church in the car park” as he attended a Saturday morning kid’s club there for several years and it was his idea as he likes seeing the people there occasionally (in moderation!). Since the last time we went, the church has moved into the 21st centrury as far as worshipping goes. Instead of the Hymn Books, there is now an LCD projector which shows the words on a screen with pretty backgrounds. Interestingly, this appears to be an off-the shelf product for the Worship sector, as it would display license activation codes for a few seconds in the left hand corner of the screen.

The church has also mothballed their pipe organ, now using a Technics high end keyboard instead. The organist sang to a couple of songs during the service, the first seated playing at the console, the second from the Lectern. I was expecting her to sing solo when she surprised us all by producing a small remote control and setting the keyboard off on auto-pilot.

Whilst waiting for the service to start, I thumbed through the small Penistone brochure that I had put in my pocket on the way out and Karen pointed out an advert, laughing as she did so. They have a forthcoming musical that scales new heights (or is it plumbs new depths) of the Musicals genre.

Can you guess what the subject is? It isn’t up on their website yet.

I’ll put the answer up later, I doubt anyone will guess it.