Exploring the First New Cinema for Hove in 40 Years

TOM’s film club is the first new cinema in Hove since the 1970s, so it’s a pretty big deal. It was set up by Steve McNicholas, the owner of the Upper Market Street venue at the Old Market in Hove, last year. He wanted to create a local and loyal cinematic community, and the number of visitors to TOM’s has been rising slowly but surely. The films on offer range from cult movies to classics to children’s movies; a truly diverse array.

We chatted to Michael Mcdermott, who curates the film listings for TOM’s, to find out more. First of all, how do the films for TOM’s get picked? Mikey said: “At the moment, we are picking the films based on a combination of timing and what audiences want, as well as movies which don’t get the recognition they deserve. For example, last month we did a David Bowie double bill. We balance classics and cults so that everyone is catered for.”

Michael with Stu Freeland's drawing of Bill Murray

Michael with Stu Freeland’s drawing of Bill Murray

When Michael isn’t curating the listings or brushing up on his movie knowledge, he works on the stage door at the Old Market. “We are a performance venue but we’d like to show movies in as many of our empty slots as possible,” said Mikey, “especially in the summer because there’s more opportunity then.”

Michael said the fact Hove had not had a new cinema in more than a generation was bewildering considering the how important the area has been to the story of film; film pioneers including James Williamson and George Albert Smith lived in Hove. Their work played a key part of the development of cinematic storytelling and narrative film, and 156 Church Road and currently bears a commemorative plaque to Williamson’s achievements.

So, why no cinema in Hove for so long? “I don’t think a cinema’s been around in my lifetime in Hove. The sad fate that befalls a lot of cinemas is being turned into bingo halls. Also, in our city, Brighton is the main hub.”

The first TOM’s event was a screening of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night in September 2016 as part of film festival Scalarama. Since then, it’s been a monthly affair. Michael and the gang aim to keep showing a range of films at leat once a month. Here’s all the latest listings.

What’s on at TOM’s 

Tuesday 14 February – Some Like it Hot 

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Some Like it Hot has garnered a reputation over the years as being widely considered one of the greatest and funniest comedies ever made. Watch it in style with your valentine!

Mikey’s take – “Some Like it Hot is not too schmaltzy; it’s a film which can be really enjoyed as a comedy and it’s based on the valentine’s day massacre so that’s the link.”

Wednesday 8 March – Russian Ark 

Russian-Ark-I

Commemorate the centenary of the Russian Revolution with what is believed to be the first movie created from one long, continuous take.

Mikey’s take: “This is film I’ve wanted to show for a while. It’s a really remarkable film, capturing the essence of Russian history. It covers obviously the most popular period of the revolution but also 100 years before that. It really deserves to be shown on a big screen so I’m glad we can!”

Wednesday 12 April – Paul King double bill

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For the Easter holidays, TOM’s is showing Paddington for children along with Bunny and the Bull for adults.

All tickets cost £6. 11A Upper Market St, Brighton BN3 1AS, Website 

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