Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Forget the Rain, We Had the Time of Our Lives. Cinema's Return Celebrated with Open-Air Show

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Forget the Rain, We Had the Time of Our Lives. Cinema's Return Celebrated with Open-Air Show

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul James Chief Reporter

THERE was Dirty Dancing on the streets of Newcastle last night as hundreds of film fans helped celebrate the Tyneside Cinema's return home.

A crowd of around 1,000 - there were even some men - had the time of their lives at the Monument for a special outdoor screening of the 1987 film that turned Patrick Swayze into every woman's dream date.

The drizzle did little to deter the film's legions of North East fans, who arrived with deckchairs, blankets and umbrellas for the show - despite most of them having seen Dirty Dancing enough times to know the script word-for-word.

A gigantic screen was installed on Grey Street for the night, organised by the Tyneside Cinema to warm up film fans for its reopening later this month after 18 months of building work.

The evening kicked off at 8pm with entertainment featuring dancers, balloon artists and stilt walkers.

And cheers erupted at 9pm as the night sky closed in and The Ronettes' classic Be my Baby signalled the beginning of the film, as the assembled masses danced and sang their way through the movie one more time.

Organisers had every film in history from which to choose for last night's festivities, but Dirty Dancing was selected by Tyneside bosses for its sheer popularity - it is often cited as the most-watched film in the world.

Last night Tyneside Cinema chief executive Mark Dobson was one of the few present who was watching the film all the way through for the first time.

He said: "I'm thrilled to bits. We wanted to put on something that would allow a lot of people to have a lot of fun and I think we've done that tonight. We're starting the Tyneside's journey home by trying to turn Newcastle into an open air cinema."

The cinema's page on internet site facebook has been the centre of a major debate between fans in recent days on the best accessories to bring along for the big night.

The result was a sea of outdoor chairs, bean bags, brollies, blankets and picnics, as people filled Grey Street from wall to wall, even cramming into shop doorways. …

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