Edinburgh’s Love of Independent Cinemas

The Cameo herself
The Cameo herself

As a film lover, one thing I really appreciate is Edinburgh’s love of old-fashioned film houses. Back home, every independent theatre is seemingly replaced by a megaplex, jumbo, supersize 3D, IMAX, light show crazy spectacle that shows 45 new movies a week. I am so glad to find a city that still appreciates film for film, without all the North American glitz. My favourite independent theatre in Edinburgh is celebrating it’s centennial anniversary this year-  The Cameo Cinema. This past week alone I have run around the corner to to see two films at the drop of a hat. (It’s essay season, can you tell?)

With the recent release of Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel (which is great fun for Anderson fans; key to enjoyment is forgetting all reality and enjoying the art and the cameos of Anderson favourites), the Cameo put on a Wes Anderson retrospective. Starting with Bottle Rocket (this week is Life Aquatic if you are around) I was thrilled with this idea. Not only do I love his films, but being only twenty-one I missed the chance to see a lot of them on screen. Greatest touch is when I went to see Bottle Rocket, a DVD copy of Darjeeling Limited was waiting on my reserved seat with a note, “A present for you!”

My present from the Cameo
My present from the Cameo

Some other great films I’ve seen there include: Only Lovers Left Alive (cheesy script, but a beautiful film with great performances from all my favourites: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton and John Hurt); Philomena (starring a subtle Judi Dench and a humbled Steve Coogan, an excellent pairing)  Le Week-end (Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan and Jeff Goldblum (!!!) in a shockingly honest and beautiful film set in Paris); Sunshine on Leith, Filth (both of which are set in Edinburgh) and About Time (Richard Curtis’s latest heart-warmer).

My favourite aspect about the Cameo is their effort to make an experience of movie-going. They play both old favourites and newly-made gems. Popcorn comes in sweet, old-fashioned boxes and there’s even an in-house bar to grab a drink before, after or for the film. A couple week’s ago, I sat beside a man enjoying a bottle of wine and a film by himself.  Saw a glimmer of my future that day.

The Cameo interior (Flicker)
The Cameo interior (Flicker)

I love how they’ve preserved the pastime of “going to the movies.” I love the nostalgic feeling of the red carpeting and gold detail on the walls. I love the smell of popcorn and the ticket stubs.

If you share my appreciation for the traditional movie-going experience, and you are in Edinburgh, pop on over. You’ll be greeted with the warmest of feelings.

Lots of love,

Isabel xx

PS. I apologize for the intense gap between posts. Between the holidays and essays, I got a little lost. Sorry!

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One Comment

  1. Annie says:

    Sounds amazing. Right up your alley.

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