The second time I met George we had more time to talk. I noticed the local artwork adorning the cafe walls as I waited for him, and then over coffee he went on to describe his acting background, and then his partner Sam's directing experience which led them into writing and performing plays in and around London.
This eventually and logically started the process of them looking for a more permanent venue. The present location was an obvious choice, George tells me that practicalities of the building allowed for two screens which is fine for an art -house cinema.
I meet George Georgiou in the relaxed cafe foyer of The Crouch End Art House and feel, well relaxed. Meeting genuine people has that affect on me. What struck me first was George letting me know that he was part of a team; that he and his partner Sam Neophytou have worked incredibly hard with an "incredible team," to realise not a dream but a hard work driven successful project.
Striking me second was the pride that George shines, not just in the award they received from Time Out. (Best Cinema) In itself a remarkable achievement, but also in the comments of local people, who constantly remark to him about how much the Arthouse is becoming a creative hub, for the Crouch End and surrounding community. But how did it come about?
What does make the 'Arthouse special though is a stage, which was booked up with a series of up coming concerts and plays, and do I see George smile? I think remembering himself and Sam wishing for then what they have now.
I'm sometimes weary of talking finance, so I skirt it a little, until George is happy to proudly acknowledge investment given by friends, family and local people who also saw a believable vision.
I could have written this whole article about the cinema's wonderful diversity.
Celebrating Women's cinema for example, or the Gay and Lesbian film screenings, along with the film writing and film making workshops based at the heart of TheArthouse.
The list goes on... Interaction with artists ( q&a with Alison Stedman up coming )
These wonderfully constructive things are well publicised on the website and blog. (Click on pic link right, which also contains some excellent film reviews)
The Derbyshire town of Wirksworth has recently been the home of some award winning design.
Designer Esther Patterson the creative force behind Curiousa and Curiousa goes from strength to strength.
After winning a national art competition with a work entitled 'Triptych Stacks'. (originally commissioned by The Hayward Gallery in London.)
Wirksworth once had a wonderful purpose built cinema, the building of which was still there, well what if that could be resurrected?
Sadly after this romantic idea was explored it was decided it was much too much work to be practical, and the idea was abandoned in favour of their existing space.
However in a touching tribute the first film shown by the original Wirksworth cinema (A Street Car Named Desire) was respectfully copied by Paul and Esther as a tribute upon the opening of The Northern Light Cinema.
The success of the cinema I feel will come from Paul & Esther playing to their strength's, Esther said she lets Paul choose the films for example and she clearly has a the decor and design covered.
I like it that the seats were saved from The Darlington Theatre, but there are many reasons why I like this cinema a lot.
Now how can I describe it?
As I understand it, Paul's graphic design space which occupied the top part of the building was soon shared with Esther after the success of her lights. After some thought, the void below was turned into a cinema space, a natural progression from their guerrilla film showing.
It very nearly happened somewhere else though...
Attached (above left pic link) is a short film about the project. by Gavin Repton. The film really shows the depth of the project.
After I watched Gavin's film with Esther she told me the true extent of the local support.
People sanding the old theatre seats, painting panels and ceilings to get The Northern Light Cinema ready for opening.
Doing everything and I quote: "With Gusto!"