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Penwith Film Society

Located at the extreme South Western tip of England, barely 12 miles from Lands End, Cornwall, Penwith Film Society is a not-for-profit organisation, a member of the British Federation of Film Societies, dedicated to presenting the finest new examples of independent, alternative and contemporary cinema that are often overlooked by commercial / corporate film houses.

PFS screenings reflect the cosmopolitan social make up of the peninsula with its high concentration of artists, writers, film-makers, musicians and dramatists — mini-seasons about art and artists, like Celluloid Into Canvas, or a programme of themed musicals in conjunction with the internationally renowned St Ives Festival, are a sensitive and intelligent response to the specialised needs of a very particular community.

Screenings take place in Penzance’s Savoy Cinema, a theatre which has a legitimate claim to being England’s longest running cinema, showing films without break since 1912, and in St. Ives’ Royal, with occaisional presentations in Redruth’s Regal and Helston’s Flora cinemas. PFS has a strong working relationship with Merlin Cinemas, having taken over the running of owner Geoff Greaves’ hugely popular late night Alternative Savoy in the mid-90’s.

The recently refurbished Savoy offers excellent facilities for the Society, including advance booking, Dolby sound and an upstairs bar — the Society prides itself on being able to offer members first run 35 mm print screenings in comfortable, audience friendly surroundings and attended by knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff.

PFS and the Acorn Theatre brought continental-style outdoor screenings to Penlee Park in Penzance. These are increasingly popular events where people are invited to enjoy a picnic, while watching great films on comfortable chairs (and in warm jumpers). Hot drinks and snacks are for sale for those who forgot their flask and nibbles. Open-air cinema in Penzance started with Tampopo in the framework of the 2001 Japanese Festival which was organised in conjunction with the Acorn Theatre. Since then the hardy local audience was treated to Cinema Paradiso, High Society, Like Water For Chocolate, Babette’s Feast and Delicatessen out in the open. If the weather doesn’t permit out-door screening, the films are moved to the Acorn Theatre. So far we were very lucky, and only one film, African Queen, had to be moved inside.

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