A NEW season of classic films returns to Shelley Theatre in Bournemouth, presented by Dirt In The Gate Movies in original 35mm prints.

The series kicks off with Brief Encounter on Friday, February 14, at 8pm. Here, Darren Payne, of Dirt In The Gate Movies, discuss the challenges involved in attempting to preserve a cinematic experience that could be lost forever.

Darren says: "Every film has a history. When people come to an evening of Dirt In The Gate films, they are watching history unfold and seeing them exactly as they were shown decades ago. For instance, what you may have seen at the UCI at Tower Park in the 80s and 90s, you are seeing exactly as it was shown from when you went to the cinema when you were younger.”

Yet the process of sourcing films is not as easy as picking up a phone and speaking to a distributor. Darren continues: “Every film we show is part of a journey. A film may end up at a local archive or we may have to ask for permission from lawyers who have the rights. Even the delivery of the print has to be via an approved method of film transportation.”

Darren shared what is lined up for 2020 starting with a Valentine’s theme. “We start February 14 with an original screening of the 1945 film, Brief Encounter, the ultimate romantic film to spend the evening with the one you love. The following day, on Saturday February 15 February, we have a modern classic, True Romance. Both films have something for everyone.”

March 21 sees the original 1963 version of The Haunting. “This is going to be shown in black and white, and we are lucky enough to have the only print in existence in the UK, which is from the BFI," Darren says.

April 17 is Boogie Nights, a film that Darren particularly wanted to show. “This is the perfect story that shares how one medium became more popular than traditional film," he says. "We are seeing this today with the reliance on pristine, clear digital film. Celluloid film creates a sense of occasion when projected onto a screen. I never want this to fade away.”

May 15 reintroduces cult films to Shelley Theatre with Withnail & I. With no original prints in the UK, Darren explains: “We sourced this from a private collection, via permission from Arrow Films. I am excited that a print is available.”

The following day, Shaun Of the Dead is set to be screened. “This film has close ties to the area. It is from the Poole-born Edgar Wright, who studied at Bournemouth and Poole College and is a massive film fan. It’s one of my favourite recent zombie movies.”

Into summer, and June 5 will see a screening of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, to be shown in a 35mm technicolour print. Darren says: “This is a classic comedy, adventure film to see on the big screen. You’ll see how it was presented in the 1960s and decades later we are showing.”

A double bill of 80s horror takes place on June 27 with House and House II. “I have a massive soft spot for this film. There are no prints in the UK and we sourced both films from South Africa. The journey of obtaining the rights takes us around the globe.”

To book tickets for the screenings from Dirt In The Gate Movies, visit www.shelleytheatre.co.uk or contact the box office.