Carnival of Souls (1962)

Date: Saturday 23 January
Venue: Opera House
Time: 9pm

Tickets: £5

Carnival of Souls

Year: 1962  Running Time: 79
Director: Herk Harvey
Starring: Candace Hilligoss, Sidney Berger
Cert: 15
Genre: Horror, B-Movie

Carnival of Souls is a strange, atmospheric and unforgettable horror film. It focuses on a young church organist Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) who is haunted by visions of a ghoulish netherworld after surviving what appears to be certain death when a car in which she is a passenger, plunges over the edge of a bridge into the river below.

Mary begins a new life in a sleepy Utah town, home to a derelict carnival and dancehall. Still struggling in the aftermath of her accident, she is haunted by an enigmatic figure that slips inside her dreams and calls her to the ruins of the former pleasure ground – about which the local Mormon congregation know more than they choose to reveal.

If you like this, you may also be interested in the Carnival of Souls Cinema in the Dark event.

Cinema in the Dark: Carnival of Souls

Date: Saturday 23 January
Venue: Foyer Bar
Time: 6.30pm

Tickets: £7.50

Carnival of Souls

Year: 2015  Running Time: 60
Director: Bren O’Callaghan
Produced by Sally Folkard
Script adapted by Len Horsey
Music and sound design by Euan Rodger
Starring: Matt Aistrup, Baby Dee, Henrietta Fusi, Amanda Hennessy, Len Horsey, Kate McCabe and Daniel Wallace.
Cert: 15

A new, unique adaptation of director Herk Harvey’s 1962 experimental feature film oddity, Carnival of Souls has been stripped and adapted to become an audio-only experience inside a darkened cinema, inspired by classic fantasy adventure radio serials of the 1930s-40s alongside sensory deprivation methods.

Commissioned by Film Hub North West Central with an advisory group of blind and partially sighted audience members, the broadcast is relayed across wireless headsets incorporating binaural audio – a technique that creates the illusion of the action happening to and around the listener, forming a sense of intimate proximity.

Binaural sound is discerned ‘outside’ the head, projected into physical space, with additional properties of direction, distance and range. Carnival of Souls attempts to explore to what end you, the audience, contribute to the cinematic experience by way of a largely unconscious understanding of form and audio foundations – from sound effects to musical composition, locative prompts and dialogue.


COS audience 

Mary (Amanda Hennessy), escaping a traumatic past, attempts to establish a new life in a sleepy Utah town, site of a derelict carnival and dancehall. Subjected to the attentions and lure of a mysterious figure, Moroni (Baby Dee), Mary finds herself drawn to the ruins of the former pleasure ground… about which the local Mormon congregation know more than they choose to reveal.

Please note this performance takes place in near-darkness with the optional invitation to wear an eye mask for blotting out remaining light spill. It is therefore not suitable for those who may feel uncomfortable in this setting.


Special thanks to Matthew Irvine for permission to adapt from the original film treatment.

Thanks to Filmhub North West for their assistance with bringing this event to Blackpool.

If you like this, why not see the full feature film at our Carnival of Souls screening later on in the Opera House?

COS ticket offer

Tickets available from the Winter Gardens Box Office, Church Street or online via Ticketmaster (booking fee applies).

Doing the double bill offer? Buy your £2.50 ticket at the Cinema in the Dark event.

Take a look at the Facebook event.

Ida (2014)

Date: Saturday 23 January
Venue: Grundy Art Gallery
Time: 2pm

Tickets: £3.50


Year: 2014  Running Time: 82
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Starring: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik
Cert: 12A
Genre: Drama
Language: Polish

From acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski (Last Resort, My Summer of Love) comes the breathtakingly beautiful, Oscar-winning Ida. A moving and intimate drama about a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who, on the verge of taking her vows, discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.

18-year old Anna (stunning newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska), a sheltered orphan raised in a convent, is preparing to become a nun when the Mother Superior insists she first visit her sole living relative. Naïve, innocent Anna soon finds herself in the presence of her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a worldly and cynical Communist Party insider, who shocks her with the declaration that her real name is Ida and her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi occupation. This revelation triggers a heart-wrenching journey into the countryside, to the family house and into the secrets of the repressed past, evoking the haunting legacy of the Holocaust and the realities of postwar Communism.

In this beautifully directed film, Pawlikowski returns to his native Poland for the first time in his career to confront some of the more contentious issues in the history of his birthplace. Powerfully written and eloquently shot, Ida is a masterly evocation of a time, a dilemma, and a defining historical moment; Ida is also personal, intimate, and human.


  •   2014 Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film
  •   2015 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film
  •   2015 BAFTA winner for Best Film Not in the English Language
  •   2014 European Film Awards winner – European Film
  •   2014 European Film Awards winner – European Director


This film has been selected to compliment the exhibition Companions, which is also on display at the Grundy Art Gallery (free admission).


Tickets available online via Brown Paper Tickets (there is a service fee) or at face value from the Grundy Art Gallery reception from Saturday 9 January.

Much Ado About Nothing (2013)

Date: Saturday 23 January
Venue: Opera House
Time: 7pm

Tickets: £5

Much Ado About Nothing

Year: 2013  Running Time: 109
Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese, Sean Maher, Reed Diamond, Clark Gregg
Cert: 12A
Genre: Drama, Comedy

Shakespeare’s classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in Joss Whedon’s film, “Much Ado About Nothing”. Using the original text, the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick offers a dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.

Leonato, the governor of Messina, is visited by his friend Don Pedro who is returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother Don John. Accompanying Don Pedro are two of his officers: Benedick and Claudio. Claudio falls for Leonato’s daughter, Hero, while Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice, the governor’s niece. A series of comic and tragic events continue to keep the two couples from truly finding happiness, but then again perhaps love may prevail in the end!


Much Ado About Nothing trailer

Take a look at the Facebook event.

Tickets are available from the Winter Gardens Box Office, Church Street or online via Ticketmaster (booking fee applies).

Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Date: Saturday 23 January
Venue: Opera House
Time: 5pm

Tickets: £5

Man with a Movie Camera

Year: 1929  Running Time: 68
Director: Dziga Vertov
Cert: U
Genre: Documentary

The best-known work of experimental documentary pioneer Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera is one the most influential films in cinema history. A poetic vision of urban life in 1920s Russia, Vertov’s extraordinary montage presents a bustling city at work and at play – a high-octane metropolis invigorated by an increasingly industrialised economy. Narrative-free and stripped of many of the conventions of silent cinema, the film exhibits a technical confidence that belies the fact that it was the director’s first feature. With its stunning range of camera angles and imaginative use of cinematic tricks (including dissolves, split screen, slow motion and freeze-frames), Vertov’s ‘mechanical eye’ takes centre-stage, his images ingeniously edited together to present an exhilarating ode to Bolshevik Russia.

We are pleased to present this screening with a live accompaniment on the world-famous Opera House Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

Keep your Seats, Please! (1935)

Date: Saturday 23 January
Venue: Opera House
Time: 2pm

Tickets: £5

Play along George Formby: Keep your Seats, Please!

Year: 1936  Running Time: 82
Director: Monty Banks
Starring: George Formby, Florence Desmond, Gus McNaughton, Harry Tate, Alistair Sim, Fiona Stewart (credited as ‘Binkie’ Stewart.
Cert: PG
Genre: Comedy

  • Keep Your Seats Please (Formby/Gifford/Cliffe)
  • When I’m Cleaning Windows (Formby/Gifford/Cliffe)

Blackpool favourite George Formby plays an heir on a mission. Based on the play Twelve Chairs by Elie Ilf and Eugene Petrov, George is supposed to inherit some valuable jewels from his aunt. However, he has to find his fortune which has been hidden in a set of chairs which have been sold separately at auction.

Watch out for:

  • One of George’s greatest hits, “The Window Cleaner”
  • Alastair Sim as the shady lawyer who also has his eye on the hidden fortune.

A great film for all the family, we invite ukulele enthusiasts young and old to join in and play along!

How to Survive the 1940s (1946-50)

Date: Saturday 23 January
Venue: Opera House
Time: 11am – 2pm

Tickets: Free admission as part of the Winter Gardens Open Day


How to Survive the 1940s

Year: 1946-50  Running Time: 85
Director: Richard Massingham et al.
Cert: PG
Genre: Documentary

Since 1946 the COI (Central Office of Information) has brought us public information films on health, safety and welfare issues — from the danger of accepting sweets from strangers to how to survive a nuclear explosion.

This special programme brings together some rarely seen highlights from the COI’s founding years, the late 1940s, drawn from the collections of the BFI National Archive. These films, screened to huge cinema audiences, aimed to put a war-weary nation back on its feet. Some remain surprisingly topical, such as Worth the Risk? (a sardonic exposé of dangerous drivers, cutting and swerving through the streets of post-war London) or Your Children’s Meals (practical guidance for the parents of fussy eaters). Others reflect the particular preoccupations of those post-war years: The People at No. 19 is a mini noir thriller on the subject of venereal disease, while Richard Massingham’s Pool of Contentment — on how to get the best out of the office typing pool — offers a comic glimpse of the 1940s workplace. Combining fictional and documentary approaches, these films provide an intriguing portrait of everyday life in 1940s’ Britain, recorded in atmospheric detail.

The programme contains:

Worth the Risk? (UK 1948 | 10 mins ); Help Yourself (John Waterhouse | UK 1950 | 12 mins); Another Case of Poisoning  (John Waterhouse | UK 1949 | 14 mins); The People at No. 19 (J.B. Holmes | UK 1949 | 18 mins); Your Children’s Meals (Alex Strasser | UK 1947 | 13 mins); Pool of Contentment (Richard Massingham | UK 1946 | 18 mins)