Dozens enjoy classic films in Dundee cinema

Some of the film fans enjoying Carousel at the Ardler Complex
Some of the film fans enjoying Carousel at the Ardler Complex

If you’ve been to a cinema lately, there’s no denying the modern day multiplex is nothing like the picture houses of yesteryear.

However, in one corner of Dundee, a community group beavers away once a month to recreate the age of cinema as its patrons remember it.

The Golden Oldies Cinema Club screens classic movies within the cosy confines of the Ardler Complex.

It has grown in popularity since its inception 18 months ago and now sees up to 50 people attending each month.

Co-ordinator Mary Cavin, together with her team of a dozen volunteers, works tirelessly to make the experience a welcoming one.

The team replicates the cinema experience of the past, complete with an interval and a vendor bearing choc ices and drinks, in a bid to keep older people active and alleviate loneliness.

Hazel Lancaster

Joyce McGregor
Joyce McGregor
Anne Ross takes on the usherette duties

Mary said: “Musicals are always popular — if we have people visiting from nursing homes, many of them can have conditions like dementia.

“The musicals tend to stay with people. When we put them on, people are smiling and singing away. It all comes back to them. It’s the same when we come around with the choc ices and the juices — it’s all about playing the part.”

The latest screening featured 1956 Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Carousel, while past screenings have included Oklahoma!, Easter Parade and The Jolson Story — all big hitters with the club’s regulars.

Retired administrative assistant Morag Walker, from Ardler, has been attending the club for the past year.

She said: “There are more people coming now than before and it’s great. You get to know everybody.

“It’s good to get a cup of tea and a chat at the end too. It’s like our own secret society — and it’s good for those in the nursing homes to get out.”

West End resident Hazel Lancaster, 67, said she had been coming to the screenings since they first began.

The retired civil servant continued: “You get to see the old films on the screen as you remember them.

“The cinemas don’t show films like this anymore, and you just pay £4 here and that gets you the ice cream, juice and a cuppa at the end.”

Retired nurse Joyce McGregor, from Menzieshill, is one of the volunteers with the club. She said: “Older people can become quite isolated, so everyone really looks forward to this every month.

“The people from the care homes especially love it — it’s good for them to get out, especially as some of them have Alzheimer’s.”

The club is entirely self-funded, with the £4 ticket price covering venue hire, refreshments and volunteer expenses.

In addition, the non-profit group is supported by the surplus food charity FareShare and the Kingsway branch of McDonald’s, which provides coffee cups for the after-film hot drinks.

Mary added that the doors are always open to new guests.

She said: “It can be hard taking older relatives with dementia out — but here they’re entertained for two hours, and it always puts a smile on their face.”

n The club’s next screening is Guys and Dolls on February 14. To reserve seats, call Mary on 01382 380394.