Memoirs of a Cinema A MultiMedia Cinematic Experience at The old Picture House in Paignton

An Inpromptu Shoot At The Old Picture House In Paignton

I was delighted to attend the performance at the Old Picture House in Paignton. It may possibly be one of the last performances to be shown in the old building before its restoration. Although I hadn't planned on doing a formal shoot I couldn't resist taking a few photos. Had this been a professional shoot I would have done things much differently. However my main aim was not necessarily to capture the most technicallly brilliant shots but to produce a feeling of atmosphere and movement that was central to the theme of the immersive dance performance.

A colourful outfit reflective of the style of the times
A lively start to the show

The first two dances were beautifully performed and very energetic. I tried to capture this sense of movement. The light in the cinema was very atmospheric and the projections behind the dancers helped to tell the story. The challenge was to capture the atmosphere of the cinema and the dancer's movement wherever possible. Low light levels and a reluctance to use on camera flash added to this challenge, but a high ISO and wide aperture meant that it was possible but with some 'noise' and blur limitations.

Capturing a sense of movement
Lots of dance moves to capture
Capturing the flow
Reaching for the stars.

Moving out of the main auditorium and into the foyer, another era begins...

Vibrant colours
A colourful piece depicting a different era
A new age is ushered in
Music is a common denominator across the ages

A truly immersive experience downstairs, with more surprises from the ages upstairs

Shot through net curtains - a window into the war years

From a lively downstairs performance and a very creative visual performance in the foyer, the show continued upstairs to reveal a poignant piece of theatre. A lady sits anxiously smoking on a chair whilst she awaits news of her loved one who is performing in another window at the opposite side from her. As she sits in her chair old movies are streamed into her window creating a very powerful and dramatic atmosphere that the camera without flash was able to capture.

From Anticipation....

Our lady waits nervously by the phone to the right of the picture

To Hope...

Our lady closes her eyes and hopes for her loved one to return

To Utter Despair

Her head in her hand, she wonders if they will ever meet again?


The reality of their separation begins to dawn
Reality begins to hurt
Hope gives way to anger
Anger gives way to despair

Moving on up to the old projection room and into the past

A blast from the past

One eye shut and one eye open

A poignant image where the movie star in the background has his eyes shut and the leading man has his eye open.

A window on the world, with more theatricals upstairs

A shift in Focus

A candid moment with camera focus towards the back
A candid moment with camera focus towards the front

Beautiful colours projected on a wall full of stunning textures

Beautiful Textures and Lights on the Decaying Walls
A purple tint
A yellow tint
A bluish tint

Back to the main theatre

Back at the main theatre, there was more vibrant, energetic dancing with lots to capture.

An energetic dance from the 1920's
A fantastic costume for highlighting movement
Reaching for the sky
Capturing motion from the dancer's hair to her dress
One final swing of the dress

Where's my phone?

The young man is visibly harassed by his girlfriend who feels she cannot be without her phone.

A saddened look when his point of view is not appreciated

Found it!

A look of pain or a look of joy as the young girl triumphantly raises her phone in the air; thus letting her boyfriend know that she has finally found It.

Found It!

Discovering the joy of film

In the end the couple turn to the big screen. Could this be the moment that our phone obsessed young lady, realises the joy of film already discovered by her boyfriend?

A brave new world

The power of the silver screen

Our duo stand mesmerised in front of the silver screen and their differences are finally pushed aside.

A final glance at the big screen

The End

A cinema ticket from the production

To Everyone Involved in the Production - We Salute You!!

Congratulations to everyone involved in the production. It was an amazing piece of theatre held at a wonderful location!

A final salute

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