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TRCH The Da Vinci Code

The Loft Movie Theatre on Their Favourite Screenings and Welcoming Film Fans Back to the Cinema

2 November 21 interview: George White
photos: Douglas Armour

A decade after setting up an at-home cinema in their attic, Gavin and Lucy Morrow have become key figures in Nottingham’s screen scene - holding popular monthly showings of cult and classic releases at the Savoy. We catch up with the film fanatics behind The Loft Movie Theatre...

What inspired you to set up The Loft Movie Theatre? 
Lucy: Ten years ago we converted our loft into a cosy four-person cinema, which we christened 'The Loft Movie Theatre', and just for fun we created a Facebook page where we would upload the posters of each film we watched. To our amusement, people started to interact with the page - and even voted us the fourth best cinema in Nottingham on Google! 
Gavin: In 2016 we were chatting about movies with Dan Keeling from the Nottingham creative powerhouse Porlock Press, and together we decided to host a screening of Repo Man as part of that year's Scalarama. It was the first time Lucy and I had screened a film in public and, to our delight, not only did the event sell out but our audience made the night into a proper collective experience. 

Your screenings are held at the Savoy Cinema. Why is this your venue of choice? 
Lucy: One of the most vivid memories people often have of the Savoy is the old upstairs bar, a cosy old-fashioned lounge with a ceiling plastered in movie posters - and this was actually the inspiration behind the decor in our home cinema in the loft. So when we started showing films in the real world, it felt right to do so there. 

What have been some of your favourite showings?
Gavin: Our screening of Aliens in December 2018 was a complete joy! We actually almost sold out every seat in both Screens 1 and 2, so it was the busiest event we've done - and to top it off, the United Kingdom Colonial Marines patrolled the event and introduced the film with us. 
Lucy: Our Christmas 2017 screening of Flash Gordon also stands out - seeing such a vibrant film in all its Technicolor glory. I remember my face hurt afterwards from smiling!

You obviously went a long time without getting to host events. How has the response been since you returned?
Gavin: It was understandably a little slow starting back over the summer as people got used to going out again, but our September screening of The Terminator felt like we were getting back to normal, with a bustling Screen 1.

How do you decide which films to screen? 
Gavin: Obviously all of the films we choose are titles we want to watch ourselves - but we invite our audience to give us their ideas too. There are some practical limitations like being able to source the license for a film, but we're always open to suggestions, so readers - let us know what you'd like to see by emailing [email protected]!

What are your plans for The Loft going forward?
Gavin: Our next event at the Savoy is our 'Halloween Hangover' screening of The Lost Boys on Monday 1 November, which we're presenting along with our friend Rob Lane from the pop culture podcast Straight To Video
Lucy: We'll also be restarting our Food and Film events in the Rough Trade bar early next year in collaboration with Chef Jugz, a Nottingham-based street food connoisseur with a passion for film. He designs the menus to complement each film, and anyone who has been to one of these events will tell you the food is amazing!

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