Savour the beauty and magic of black and white

A scene from 42nd Street, being screened at the Winter Gardens Film Festival
A scene from 42nd Street, being screened at the Winter Gardens Film Festival
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Film buffs have a chance to ‘come and meet those dancing feet’ in a weekend of black and white screenings.

Classic and contemporary black and white films are to be shown at the Opera House as part of the second Winter Gardens Film Festival.

The festival launched last year, following the installation of the cinema screen at the Winter Gardens’ theatre.

This year’s festival, run by the Winter Gardens’ Trust with Aunty Social and the Winter Gardens’ management, promises ‘the best of black and white film - both classic and modern’.

On the bill for the festival later this month, there will be musicals, spoof horror, silent classics and contemporary comedy, as well as social events.

The three-day celluloid celebration opens on Friday, January 22 with a drinks reception and gala screening of 1933 film 42nd Street.

David Gore, Winter Gardens’ Trust spokesman, said: “The main screenings will take place in the magnificent Opera House, which was opened by Jessie Matthews and Sonny Hale in 1939 as one of the most luxurious and sophisticated combination theatres and super cinemas of the pre-war period.

“The 1934 production Sing As We Go!, starring Gracie Fields and set in Blackpool, will be shown on Sunday afternoon in the Baronial Hall, preceded by archive footage of the then mayor of Blackpool thanking the film company for coming to the town.

“Other highlights include a ‘cinema in the dark’ performance of Carnival Of The Souls, a truly spine-chilling experience which will be followed by a full screening of the film by candlelight.

“On Saturday afternoon there’ll be a chance to play your ukulele along with George Formby as he stars in Keep Your Seats, Please!”

From modern cinema, the 2012 version of Much Ado About Nothing will feature, as well as a screening of the Polish language film Ida at the Grundy Gallery.

The festival coincides with the Winter Gardens’ Open Day on Saturday, January 23, when much of the complex will be open to visitors, with additional events including a free screening of rarely seen public information films under the banner How To Survive The 1940s.

* The Winter Gardens Film Festival takes place Friday to Sunday, January 22 to 24. Tickets cost £5 or £7.50, and a festival wristband costs £30 from the Winter Gardens box office. Visit for more information.