Classic Christmas at the Hippodrome

A CRACKER of a Christmas has been lined up at the historic Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness.

Scotland’s first purpose-built picture palace celebrates its first festive season after a £2 million revamp with a top selection of holiday movies for all the family.

Highlights include Frank Capra’s classic ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ (showing Saturday, December 19), ‘White Christmas’ starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye (Monday, December 21), and the Oscar-nominated ‘The Bishops Wife’, starring Cary Grant (on Monday, December 28).

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There’s also Judy Garland in the Christmas film ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’ (December 19) – as well as two showings of The Mariinksy Ballet: filmed live in St. Petersburg performing ‘The Nutcracker’ (showing on Sunday December 20 and Thursday, December 24).

Bo’ness Labour Councillor Adrian Mahoney, the convener of leisure, tourism and community at Falkirk Council, said: “The Hippodrome is a fantastic place to visit this Christmas. This pre-art deco cinema has been lovingly restored and brought back to life. It’s the ideal place to watch some of these classic Christmas movies from the golden age of Hollywood – or enjoy a fantastic ballet in beautiful surroundings. It should be the top of everyone’s Christmas list this holiday season.”

The A-listed building was opened in 1912. It’s a rare example of pre-art deco cinema architecture, and Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema.

Having undergone extensive restoration as part of the Bo’ness Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), The Hippodrome has seen the 1926 decorative scheme reinstated, new seating installed and original seating restored. It’s also had digital and 35mm projectors fitted – as well as a state-of-the-art sound system – to offer the best cinema experience. It was re-opened as a cinema in April this year.

As well as classic films, the Hippodrome is also playing host to fantastic new releases, starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Robert Downey Jr. stars in ‘The Soloist’ about an world-weary LA journalist, alongside Jamie Foxx.

Downey Jr., is also the lead in Guy Ritchie’s new blockbuster ‘Sherlock Holmes’.

George Clooney provides laughs in ‘The Men Who Stair at Goats’, leads in the drama ‘Up in The Air’ and provides a voice for ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’. There’s also the biopic, ‘Amelia’, starring Hilary Swank – and Nick Hornby’s take on Lynn Barber’s memoir of 1960s London, ‘An Education’.

The Coen Brothers are back with black comedy ‘A Serious Man’ and Stephen Soderbergh directs Matt Damon in ‘The Informant’, about a high-ranking corporate whistle blower.

Meryl Streep – star of the Hippodrome launch movie ‘Mamma Mia’ – returns in Nancy Myers’ ‘It’s Complicated’. There’s also the thriller ‘Brothers’, staring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire and James Cameron’s big epic – ‘Avatar’.

There’s also special such as ‘The Shutdown’ – music and movies from two Falkirk-born performers, and a showing of some of the Scottish Screen Archives movies about working life in Forth Valley.

Saturday morning movies, at pocket money prices, continue with ‘Planet 51’ – from the makers of Shrek, ‘The Prince of Egypt’ and the ‘Curse of the Wererabbit’ and many, many more.

Brochures for the new season are available from the venue and local outlets. You can access details online at www.falkirk.gov.uk/hippodrome

The box office number is 01324 506850.

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