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Midnight movie for Glasgow Central station

Filmgoers will get tha chance to choose the film. Elf starring Will Ferrell is in the running. Picture: Contributed

Filmgoers will get tha chance to choose the film. Elf starring Will Ferrell is in the running. Picture: Contributed

  • by ALASTAIR DALTON
 

A MIDNIGHT movie is to be screened at Glasgow Central station - Scotland’s busiest - in the first-ever film show on a railway concourse, Network Rail has announced.

Passengers will choose what they would like to watch at the unique charity fundraiser in December from a horror-dominated shortlist .

Special seating will be brought in for the performance along with a self-standing 30ft-high screen in front of the platform indicator board.

The 300-strong audience will listen to the soundtrack on headphones to avoid disturbing people in neighbouring buildings such as the Grand Central Hotel.

The station’s shops will be encouraged to stay open to provide refreshments.

Filmgoers can choose from horror classics Gremlins, The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs, Psycho and Seven, Christmas favourites Elf and Home Alone, and mafia epic The Godfather Part II.

Network Rail, which runs the station, said the one-off screening would be repeated if it was successful.

A spokesman said: “The event will be a first for any UK station and we are in the process of applying for the necessary licensing rights to screen a film.”

The show, which will start after the last trains have left on Saturday, 7 December, comes as the latest of a series of innovative events at Glasgow Central.

This year it launched Friday afternoon jazz concerts on the concourse, along with the first-ever tours of the huge roof and basement areas during Doors Open Day last month.

Manager Ross Moran said: “We have embraced the notion of being a ‘destination station’ like Grand Central in New York and St Pancras in London, which are exciting and different places to visit in their own right. We no longer want people to just pass through the station.

“Cinemas used to stage midnight movies, but we think we have spotted a gap in the market.

“There will be a real novelty to being in the station watching a film after midnight - what more atmospheric a venue could you have?

“We want the public to say what they would like to see - such as a particular genre, like a Christmas film.

“If it is a success, there is no reason why we would not continue it.”

The screening is being staged to raise money for the Prince’s Trust to support disadvantaged youngsters. Tickets will be about £10.

Moran said future screenings could also take place among the archways in the vast basement area of the station.

However, he stressed such events would have to fit in with the 40 million passengers who use the station a year - or more than 100,000 a day.

He said: “There are going to be more and more events happening - we do like to be the innovator.”

They could include spectaculars like the staging of The Railway Children on a platform with a steam locomotive, as seen at Waterloo Station in London and the National Railway Museum in York.

The Glasgow Film Festival, which held one of its screenings in the concourse of St Enoch station on the Glasgow Subway in February, is considering using a railway station in the future.

Co-director Allison Gardner said: “We use a lot of unusual spaces, like Glasgow Cathedral, and St Enoch had a fantastic atmosphere - it had a slightly mystic air.”

The Subway station was turned into a 50-seat cinema for the cult gang movie The Warriors, which is set in the New York Subway.

Gardner said of Central Station’s plans: “It’s a great initiative, I hope it works.

“I would choose a film with a railway theme, otherwise it would be an opportunity missed.”

“I don’t think the cold will put people off - they are used to events like the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.”

Some stations screen films within their buildings rather than on the concourse, such as Carnforth in Lancashire, where Brief Encounter was filmed.

John Adams, manager of the station’s heritage centre, which shows the film four times a day in a nine-seat cinema, welcomed Glasgow Central’s plans.

He said: “What a fabulous idea - it’s art in a different form. That sounds marvellous.”

Glasgow Central has featured in several Virgin Trains adverts, including one in which Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson made a cameo appearance as a refuse cart driver complete with tattoos and blacked-out teeth.

 

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