Good start – but a windy film ending

Drive-in cinema goers making the most of the great outdoors watching Dirty Dancing at Whyndyke Farm. Below: Organisers Callum McDonald & Alexis Payne.
Drive-in cinema goers making the most of the great outdoors watching Dirty Dancing at Whyndyke Farm. Below: Organisers Callum McDonald & Alexis Payne.
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A weekend of movie classics at Blackpool’s first outdoor cinema experience was cut short by last night’s extreme winds.

After a “sell-out Saturday”, the final films on Sunday were cancelled as winds up to 50mph battered the Fylde Coast.

Organizers Callum McDonald and Alexis Payne.

Organizers Callum McDonald and Alexis Payne.

Organiser Callum McDonald of Impact Events said: “The wind has defeated us. We were able to show Dumbo on Sunday, but for health and safety we had to cancel Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Toy Story.

“It’s upsetting because we wanted to go out with a bang, but we haven’t been put off and will be coming back next year.”

All customers were given a refund straight away.

Film buffs gave the thumbs up to the launch of the cinema on Friday, when nearly 100 cars parked up to watch Dirty Dancing on the big screen at Whyndyke Farm.

Many of the cinema-goers heard of the phenomenon through a Facebook page, which Callum McDonald and his business partner Alexis Payne set up to gauge interest.

Film fanatics Gemma and Donna Fiorello, of Johnson Road, Marton, said as soon as they saw Dirty Dancing was on the bill, they booked tickets.

“It’s my favourite film,” Donna, 31, said.

Gemma, 32, added: “It’s a different idea. It’s a shame about the weather, but it’s a couple of hours out and we’re really enjoying it.”

Another perk of a drive-in movie is being able to bring a car full of sweets.

David Butterworth and Laura Seymour, from Bispham, were tucking into cheese and biscuits while Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey were falling in love on the dance floor.

David, 41, said: “It’s awesome. We booked to see Grease too.”

And best friends Laura Lord, 26, and Lynne Cowell, 28, had drive-through snacks, sweets and chocolate to see them through Friday’s film.

Laura, from Great Eccleston, said: “Dirty Dancing is one of our favourite films.

“This is really different, and something we’ve never had the chance to do before. It’s great to be able to watch a film with no interruptions.

“It’s brilliant.”

Dirty Dancing was followed by Nightmare on Elm Street, and Saturday billed ET, Grease and The Shining.

Callum, 24, who lives on the farm, said: “We’re always looking for new things to do, and as soon as we saw the level of interest on Facebook we decided to make this happen.

“What was going to be a side-line project suddenly became a big job for us to get off the ground quickly. There is an element of risk in every business venture you take on, and we took a big financial risk doing this. It was a gamble, but it’s really paid off.”

Film buffs travelled from far and wide

Blackpool Outdoor Cinema attracted thousands of “likes” on Facebook, but, as Alexis says, not everyone who takes an interest on social media is going to turn up to your event.

Which is why she and Callum were pleased nearly 100 cars showed up for their first film, Dirty Dancing, on Friday night.

Alexis, 28, said: “People were telling us they were worried about motorway traffic, which we thought would be the M55, but they were talking about the M6. We’ve had people travelling from as far as Liverpool and Merseyside which is fantastic.

“We will definitely be doing this again.”

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