Since Park Circus concluded a deal to represent the Warner Bros. back catalogue for theatrical screenings there has been no shortage of interest in their legendary library and their wide range of titles. One such recent attraction has been the Looney Tunes cartoons.
We spoke to Alison Strauss who programmes the Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness, UK who will be presenting a number of Looney Tunes classics in September.
Park Circus: Why did you decide to book these Looney Tunes titles for your cinema?
Alison Strauss: I was looking for classic animation titles to programme in our hugely popular Saturday morning family friendly slot. I book a selection of the usual new releases targeted at children for this slot, like Ice Age 4, Despicable Me, Puss in Boots etc but sometimes it can be a struggle to find high quality titles to programme every week.
Most seasons I book a title that might challenge the audience a little, offer up a new discovery or give them a chance to see a much loved older classic – often I find just what I’m looking for from the Park Circus library. We just screened Buster Keaton’s The Navigator in this slot for example and it went down a storm (forgive the pun) with the 6 year olds in the cinema!
I love all the Looney Tunes greats (and Hanna-Barbera) so it was great to learn that Park Circus can license them.
PC: How do you wish to screen the films for your programme?
AS: I’ve made a personal selection of 7 titles to create a full programme and we will be screening them on the Saturday during the weekend of the Hippodrome’s Doors Open Days (Sat 15 and Sun 16 September 2012). The Looney Tunes programme will be a perfect showcase for the Hippodrome’s year round offering, laying out our stall, as it were, for the visitors who come along to get a behind-the-scenes peek at the Hippodrome – Scotland’s first and oldest cinema.
2012 is the Hippodrome’s centenary year, and the Doors Open Days are part of our Hippodrome 100 range of initiatives. The Doors Open theme is ‘Cinematic Heritage and Scotland on Film’. The day of the screening will also mark the launch of our new touring exhibition about the history of the Hippodrome.
We’ll be showing a Park Circus title in the evenings for the Doors Open weekend too: The Lodger – another perfect showcase for the Hippodrome offering and the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema.
PC: What do you think such titles will bring to the modern experience of cinema-going?
AS: One of the best cinema-going experiences is to be part of an audience in an auditorium full of folk sharing delighted laughter - these seven-minute animations are genuinely laugh-a-minute. The laughter is shared across the generations – not the knowing kind that are the trademark of some contemporary studios’ product, where gags are interspersed over the children’s heads to content the parents – just genuine belly laughs.
PC: Do you think there is a future in bringing classic cartoons/serials back to cinemas?
AS: Absolutely. Audiences have fond memories of watching the Pepe le Peu, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck et al on telly and of course many can remember watching the cartoons before the main feature or newsreel in cinema’s golden era. Parents and grandparents want to bring their little ones to introduce them to the cartoons they grew up with, and I expect a fair few will come along just for themselves. Toons are best enjoyed, back where they belong, on the big screen.
We couldn't agree more. The Hippodrome cinema will be screening the following titles on 15 September:
- Rabbit of Seville
- Duck Amuck
- Duck Dodgers in the 24 and a Half Century
- For Scent-Imental Reasons
- Feed the Kitty
- Canary Row
- Foghorn Leghorn
If you wish to make a booking enquiry on these Warner Bros. titles you can do so here.