This won’t be new to many of you, but it’s one of two things we did last weekend for the first time since moving to Lewes nearly five years ago. The other, I’ll be blogging about later this week or next.
Several friends of ours have done the Picturehouse Kids’ Club in Brighton most Saturdays (at Duke of York’s in London Road) or Sundays (at the Duke’s at Komedia in the Laines) and have raved about it. I went along this past Sunday with a beloved Brighton friend and her boys, who had seen my post about Tove Jansson, our love of the Moomins, and our sadness at missing the Moomin Midsummer Madness play at the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon. Because guess what? The Kids’ Club was showing the epically enchanting (and ever so slightly whack) Moomin and Midsummer Madness FILM.
This was my two-year-old’s first outing to a cinema, and what a success it was. I would never have taken him to a big loud blockbustery kids’ movie, but I knew this one would be slow, and because of it being a dedicated kids’ activity, no one would mind if he got itchy pants and wandered around. The gist of it is you turn up from 10.30am (but definitely by 10.40) for an 11am showing, head upstairs to do some film-related drawing/colouring and then each child is given a bag of sweets and a raffle ticket at the screening room’s door.
We booked to sit right at the back on sofas – one for the two big boys, one for the two littler boys and one for my friend and I (so we could have an indulgent whispered one-and-a-half-hour gossip, which we classed as AOK given the kiddy chatter all around us). There were even nice booster seats for the smaller guys, on which mine managed about an hour before he escaped to explore the cinema, with me hunched and creeping along empty rows, hissing his name and trying to catch him. He even ventured up onto the stage – cringe.
At the end everyone clapped, the kids were asked what they liked about the film (and, hands raised, many had a moment in the limelight as they piped up and declared it). Then two kids were given prizes for their great pictures (good prizes too, one of them received an actual Moomin figurine). And finally, it was time for the raffle. The kids were asked to stamp their feet on the floor to create a drumroll and… NUMBER 480! My older boy’s ticket! Small miracle, we never win anything! But my boy boldly (unusually for him) went up to claim a pack of scratch ‘n’ sniff popcorn stickers. Retro.
We will most DEFINITELY be doing this again. It ended at 12.30pm, just in time for a quick run around outside the Jubilee Library and a treaty Pizza Express lunch before heading home for nap time. Our friends do it every weekend as you can become a member for just £4 per year, which entitles you to children’s and accompanying adults’ tickets for just £1 each. What a cheap outing! If you don’t go in for membership, it’s £3 per ticket.
Note that Picturehouse cinemas across the country run this same Kids’ Club, so if you’re reading this in Bath, Norwich, Clapham or Exeter (and many other places in between) you can do it too. Not sure why you would be though. Reading this location-specific blog, that is. The link with all the locations on it is here.
The upcoming films for the next few weeks include:
The Glitterball (ideal for ages 5+) – 6/7 September
Matilda (ideal for ages 6+) – 13/14 September
Tarzan (ideal for ages 5+) – 20/21st September
And kids can rate them by colouring in the Moomins in the programme!
Check the website below to see what’s on if you’re looking at this post in the future, at a time far away from September 2014.
The two cinemas always show the same film in the same weekend.
Duke of York’s Cinema (for Saturday Picturehouse Kids’ Club)
Address: Preston Circus, Brighton, BN1 4NA
Tel no.: 0871 902 5728
Duke’s At Komedia (for Sunday Picturehouse Kids’ Club)
Address: 44-47 Gardner Street, North Laine, Brighton, BN1 1UN
Tel no.: 0871 902 5728
Clubs/info for kids of different ages:
Parent of a child over age eight? Picturehouse will allow them to attend the screening alone, but want it noted that they are not providing childcare. The films are attended by more staff than usual though, and they just ask that you make sure you’re there when the film ends.
Parent of a baby? You can attend ‘The Big Scream’ to see the latest films with your under-one-year-old baby in tow.
Parent of a toddler/pre-schoolers? You can attend ‘Toddler Time’, half-hour-long age appropriate films that introduce them to the thrill of the big screen.
Go to the sites above to find out what times these sessions run as they may be different at the different cinemas.
Disclosure: No compensation, financial or otherwise, was offered or accepted in exchange for this post. We were also did not ask for or were given free tickets to the screening of Moomin Midsummer Madness, having made a plan to do this with friends.
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