It’s a Wonderful Life at No 6 Cinema

Portsmouth’s independent No 6 Cinema has launched a crowdfunding campaign to reduce ticket prices along with a programme of ‘feel-good’ films that may help many of us get through tough times ahead. Star & Crescent reporters reveal more.

Cinema volunteer and Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture at the University of Portsmouth, Dr Olly Gruner, described plans for £5 tickets for all films in January as a ‘great initiative.’ He hoped that it would encourage more people to visit No 6 and enjoy its mixed programme of classic and contemporary films.

Gruner was also pleased by the choice of films planned for the festive period. They include animated inspiring children’s adventure, The Polar Express, and one of the most renowned so called feelgood films of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life. He said, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life is just over seventy-five years old, but still retains its charm. For all its fantastical storyline and sentimentality, there are themes that continue to resonate – economic hardships, community relations, ordinary people taking on a greedy elite.’

It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on a short story published in 1943 and influenced by Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. The film stars James Stewart as a man who has given up his personal dreams, in order to help others in his community, and whose thoughts of suicide on Christmas Eve bring about the intervention of his guardian angel. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the best films ever made. Capra revealed that it was his favourite among those he directed and that he screened it for his family every Christmas. It was also one of Stewart’s favourite films.  In 1990, the film was designated as ‘culturally, historically or aesthetically significant’ and added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Gruner said, ‘the heroes are endearing, the villains memorable, it’s got humour, pathos and finds something positive in the darkest of corners. What’s not to like?’

No6, based in the Historic Dockyard, was founded in 2011 by a group of volunteers. Volunteer team chairwoman Malisa Chafer – whose favourite film when young was Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid – said No6 was hoping to reduce fees for the month of January to help film lovers escape the cost of living crisis. ‘We also need help to cover the costs and ensure that No6 remains a thriving part of Portsmouth’s cultural scene.’

It’s A Wonderful Life (U) is on Saturday December 10 7pm.

Polar Express, (U) is on Saturday December 17, 4.15pm.

Contribute to No6’s crowdfunder here.

The image reused is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1927 and 1963, and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed