Monday, 21 April 2008
I was very fortunate to win a cinema for the night in Balham. I clicked on the button on The Exhibit's website and some how managed to bag myself a night at a very swanky cinema on Cowie's doorstep.
We walk past The Exhibit most weekends when we inevitably pop into Sainsbury's 5 times because we keep forgetting things, or Cowie runs out of grapes! It's a very smart, imposing building with a magnetic quality that makes you want to investigate. That's what got us hooked. I've never really wanted to watch the films they screen. But the beauty about having a cinema all to yourself is that you get to choose the film.
At first this really exciting. Then it becomes scary. Finding a film that 24 people are all going to like and not have seen is almost impossible. So do you opt for an old classic that everyone has seen and can recite all the lines like Top Gun, Gladiator etc. Or do you go for a newish release that most won't have seen and will look great on the big screen?
We went for the latter and watch American Gangster. It was one of the toughest choices I've ever made. Made tougher by the sheer idiocy of Blockbuster. Despite having a live membership in Nottingham they wouldn't let me hire a video in Balham. They could try but I'd have had to have known the post code for the Blockbuster on Lenton Boulevard... unlikely. So sir. Do you have proof of your address such as a utility bill? Of course not! Do you? Madness. Somehow I managed to emerge 15 minutes later clutching a copy of the DVD but my temper was rubbed raw. No wonder Love Film is doing so well.
The Exhibit has got a great bar with very friendly bar staff. The crowd is very cool without being pretentious. And it is supposed to be great in summer when they open out their terrace.
Unfortunately we were too late on a Sunday night for food so we just had olives and nuts whilst watching our film and sipping our beers. Bliss on a Sunday evening. It would make a great place for a party as there are quite a few bars in the building. As we left we stumbled into a stand up comedy night and somehow managed to emerge un-teased which was the only disappointment to the evening!
We're all delighted to have discovered such a cool haunt and are super keen to return.