22 Apr 20
I'm Matthew Cutler, the General Manager of the East Dulwich Picturehouse & Cafe. I've worked for Picturehouse Cinemas for eleven years, starting off as Front of House Assistant at Greenwich Picturehouse way back in 2009. After the warm welcome I received from the team on my first day I can remember thinking that the cinema is a particularly wonderful place to work. I just love to tell distant relatives how my movie career is progressing while with each passing year they wait for me to get a 'proper job'! But when you spend your days talking about films - ones you've loved, hated, missed and can't wait to see - and then showing them to people, who would really want a 'proper job'?
Of course, it's not all glitz and glamour when you're dealing with exploding toilets, equipment breakdowns and lost property (from car keys and keep cups, to wigs and false teeth), and all the while making sure you never run out of loo roll. But when you're also doing the special things like organising Eurovision screening parties, putting It's a Wonderful Life on for Christmas Eve just because it's one of your customer's Christmas traditions, searching for news footage from 1931 to screen before a customer's 80th birthday party screening, hearing the screams as a teenage heartthrob graces the screen, guessing just exactly who that guy is supposed to be at the Star Wars midnight preview, holding a customer's hand in an empty screen long after the credits have ended because they needed a minute, then that's when you know you're working in the right place.
23 April is the fifth Birthday of the East Dulwich Picturehouse. But we are of course closed while we all do our bit and stay home. We were working on some great plans to help us celebrate this little milestone with our customers. Instead we'll have to wait just a little while longer until we can celebrate a return to normalcy. In the meantime we can screen all of our favourite films at home (every night is movie night in my house). It's a comfort, but I'm sure we're all itching for the real thing, the big screen experience, once again.
I always tell our team, the question isn't why should people go to the cinema, but why should people go to our cinema? And the answer is because we're part of the community, the little show around the corner.
It's that sense of community I'll miss most during this closure. It's being in the position to be able to make cinema an accessible experience for everyone. Because it is for everyone.
So stay safe and be excellent to each other. We look forward to welcoming you to East Dulwich Picturehouse again soon!
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