The evening of Thursday 14th July saw the centenary of the Battle of the Somme being commemorated by Billericay Community Cinema in the town’s Library, in partnership with the Imperial War Museum and Essex Libraries.
Put on as part of the Imperial War Museum’s “Somme100” project which sees events taking place around the UK, over 50 people came to this free community screening of the 1916 film which documents the lead up to, and the early stages of the Battle of the Somme.
It was preceded by a fascinating and entertaining talk by amateur historian Dermot McCarthy putting the Somme - and the film - in context. Dermot also managed to bring a local focus covering both local soldiers and the downing of Zeppelin L32 in fields off Greens Farm Lane, Billericay.
The evening started with music played by talented youngsters from the Brentwood Orchestra’s of Youth Musicians with both a jazz group and a classical quartet entertaining the guests.
Guest charity The Billericay Branch of the Royal British Legion hosted a popular stall and CoOp FuneralCare in Billericay had funded a World War I exhibition.
Adam Adshead, Chairman, said “
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Adam Adshead, Chariman"]This was a wonderful opportunity to further demonstrate our community focus : a free showing of a very important film, entertainment by talented local youngsters and showcasing the Royal British Legion[/quote]
The film, which has been digitally restored and with a specially composed soundtrack was shown in great clarity on the 3.6m screen and surround sound.
Why is the 1916 film important?
- One of the most popular films in British Cinema history it was seen by over 20 million people when it came out - almost half the entire British population
- First feature-length documentary to record war
- First battle to be extensively recorded in moving images; first battle to feature vast numbers of old
- Featuring large tripod cameras, it shows images of troops moving towards the front, and large howitzers bombarding enemy positions
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted byEmma Neppl, Publicity Officer"]A huge amount of work went into putting this together and I’m incredibly grateful to all of our volunteers for their hard work and to Essex Libraries and the Imperial War Museum of their assistance in bringing this film to Billericay[/quote]
What is Billericay Community Cinema?
- Billericay Community Cinema is a not-for-profit, voluntary group who put on films in Billericay Library twice a month
- Aim to show a wide range of films in a comfortable, friendly, community environment and at a price that makes film accessible.
- 21 films have now been shown since September 2015 - with over 900 customers
- Visit www.BillericayCine.com