How to Make Your Own Stay Home Cinema Screening

2020 has been a wild ride and we hope you’ve come through safely. It’s certainly forced a few rethinks on how things are handled. While we urge you to support your local cinema whenever possible, under lockdown we started working on the idea of ‘stay home cinema’ – a DIY playlist mimicking the flow of a cinema screening.

Those with long memories will recall that cinema screenings once opened with “God Save the King [or Queen]”. The audience would stand as images of the monarch played onscreen. We have several other recordings online to view, in addition to the below.

God Save the King, 1935.

This might be followed by a topical newsreel. Before television, this was a compelling way to learn of recent news, as well as advances in New Zealand industry, culture, sport and technology. Topical Budget, Soundscenes, Pictorial Parade, Weekly Review and Pacific Magazine were some of the series that screened widely.

New Zealand Soundscenes. Grand National Special!, 1933.

Filmmakers around the country knew that audiences loved the chance to see themselves, their family or friends onscreen. ‘Competition films‘ provided that possibility. Local searches for the ‘Most Beautiful Baby’, and modelling hairstyle competitions, brought people in front of the camera – a quick turn-around meant that a week or two later they could invite friends to witness their silver screen debut.

St. John Ambulance Baby Contest Final Stage. North V South, 1940.

The main attraction could be a feature or a series of shorts – from New Zealand or overseas.

Under the Southern Cross, 1927.

Traditionally, upcoming new release films would follow the main attraction – hence the name ‘trailers’.

Strong Boy, 1929.

If you decide to hold your own stay home cinema screening, let us know what you choose to include!

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