News

NEW BOOK - "ASTLEY: CIRCUS GENIUS" January 18 2018

ASTLEY: CIRCUS GENIUS - a re-issue BOOK LAUNCH of Paul Bemrose's book in support of the PHILIP ASTLEY PROJECT - prior to the free screening of "The Greatest Show on Earth". Wednesday January 31st 7.15pm, Stoke Film Theatre ST4 2EF.

Free Screenings - Current Season 2018 December 02 2016

STAFFORDSHIRE FILM ARCHIVE 

FREE SCREENINGS AT THE FILM THEATRE, College Rd, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2EF

WEDNESDAYS, 7.45pm. Bar open from 7.00pm. Ticket-free – No booking required. Free parking adjacent to Film Theatre - enter from College Road opposite Queen Anne Street

AUTUMN SEASON

  

Wed 17th October

"MAN ON A TIGHTROPE" (1953) - Philip Astley Circus Season

Frederick March plays a Czech circus owner who is also the chief clown and walks the tightrope. He leads his entire troupe in a daring stratagem in order to escape en masse from behind the Iron Curtain. It is based on real life events when the Brumbach Circus escaped from East to West Germany in 1950 - some actual members of that circus appear in the film. The great director Elia Kazan uses the Circus as a way of commenting on the Cold War. Also stars Gloria Grahame - one of the stars of The Greatest Show on Earth.

 

Wed 24th October

THE ROYAL STORY

Mainstay of Music Hall then Variety in the Potteries for over a century, this is the story of this great Frank Matcham theatre - "The Potteries' Own" - built on the site of the Royal Potteries Theatre in 1870. Along the way we celebrate some of the great stars who performed there - in the form of actual archive film footage, tribute acts taking part in the 1998 celebration The Royal Story and cherished memorabilia and reminiscences. Includes a tribute to The Hanley Babes - being re-formed from today's youngster for this year's Mitchell Arts Centre pantomime.

 

Wed 31st October

"WHEN THIS LOUSY WAR IS OVER" (WWI Soldier's song)

A review of the last year of the Great War in Archive Films from late 1917 onwards. The impact of the USA joining the war, the disarray and internal mutinies in the French Army, the withdrawal of Russia, ravaged by Revolution (allowing Germany to concentrate on the Western Front) - and then the final battles and German surrender.

 

Wed 7th November

END OF WAR - BEGINNINGS OF REMEMBRANCE: "TRENTHAM REMEMBERED: A CONVERSATION WITH THE PAST"

A new Drama/Documentary by Staffordshire Film Archive in collaboration with the Trentham WWI Group. How a typical local community reflected on the Great War and achieved a fitting Memorial to those who never returned. We hear various families' war stories through an imagined encounter between Archdeacon Malcolm Graham - Ray Johnson - who was Vicar of Trentham, and his great granddaughter - jazz musician Veronica Perrin. Plus archive film of the first Armistice Day. 

 

Wed 14th November

FROM WORKHOUSE TO LORD MAYOR - GEORGE BARBER

The incredible story of entrepreneur, cinema pioneer and temperance lecturer George Barber - who spent time in the Workhouse as a youngster but rose to become Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent in 1930. We see a selection of his original lecture slides, hear from someone who went to his talks in the 1920s, see films he had made for his local cinemas from 1910 onwards - and how he expanded his cinema empire beyond Staffordshire. There are interviews with his grandson Len (also a former Lord Mayor) and great grandson Brian. Copies of the new publication of his book From Workhouse to Lord Mayor will be available from the Biddulph History Society.

 

Wed 21st November

IT'S IN THE AIR - The Spitfire and Historic Films of Flight

 

As the City's Spitfire is now actually being restored, a selection of archive films relating to the Spitfire - from Reginald's seaplanes which eventually won the Schneider Trophy in 1931 and held the World Air Speed Record - through to the first flight of the Spitfire and its role in the Battle of Britain. Along the way we will spend a typical day at London Airport (Croydon) in the mid 1930s and review of prominent pre-war aeroplanes caught on film. Also: From Paper to Steel - a film of the creation of the Steel Spitfire based on a paper Spitfire created by artist Suhail Shaikh and which now occupies the Spitfire Gallery in the Potteries Museum.