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REVIEW: Picnic Cinema

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: August 26, 2014

Picnic Cinema at Cannock Chase

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ONE of my favourite things about British summer is our bizarre desire to watch TV, play video games and enjoy films outdoors.

We may not have the best of weather for the majority of the year but we really make the most of it as soon as those rays of sunshine break through the thick cloud looming over our island.

This year I decided to try Picnic Cinema, combining my love for horror films, food and the outdoors. I joined a crowd of campers and film fans in the middle of Cannock Chase Forest on Friday night to watch Danny Boyle’s post-apocalyptic horror, 28 Days Later, on a huge projector screen.

After eventually finding the location (signage and advertising for this event needs a bit of work) I settled down with my picnic blanket, assortment of goodies and a thick blanket in front of the screen in a clearing in the woods.

Other guests had come very prepared, with chairs, little tables, plenty of booze and food. Many people had taken the option of camping and the delicious smell of barbecues filled the air.

We were told the film would not start until it got dark, for maximum effect. It fell on the Picnic Cinema team to entertain us until then. What followed was what I can only think to describe as a sort of 'band parody' - they weren't professional musicians or singers, but they certainly kept everyone entertained and were very engaging. We had a last minute film quiz, followed by a zombie dance off and a Queen music video and then finally the film started.

It was a really good experience to be able to enjoy a horror film in the middle of the woods knowing everyone else had the same feeling. When the film ended we clapped and tried to get some feeling back in our hands - the organisers said it was probably the coldest night they have held the event on this year and commended us for staying for the whole film.

Overall it was good fun, if a little on the pricey side. Non-camping tickets were £18, with a £2 booking fee and camping tickets were £28. There was also a two-night option and next time I would recommend camping and making a weekend of it.

The event is run by Eden Arts, an arts organisation and charity based in Cumbria. All income raised from Picnic Cinema helps support Remote, a Rural Touring Cinema project that enables rural communities to put on cinema screenings in their village venue.

For more information visit picniccinema.co.uk/

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