Quadrophenia opens the Whitley Bay film festival

SCOOTERS converged on a seaside town last night as a cult Mod movie launched a film festival.

Scooter fans get together ahead of the screening of Quadrophenia
Scooter fans get together ahead of the screening of Quadrophenia

SCOOTERS converged on a seaside town last night as a cult Mod movie launched a film festival.

The second annual Whitley Bay film festival opened at the Trojan Rooms in the town’s South Parade with a sell-out showing of Quadrophenia.

The 1979 British film, loosely based around the 1973 rock opera of the same name by The Who, is set in 1965, starring Phil Daniels as a scooter-riding Mod.

Last night scooter enthusiasts paraded along the North Tyneside coast to kick off the festival.

“Quadrophenia is a classic. It is the ultimate Mod film, and the scooters are great. The film was one of our first events to sell out,” said Ema Lea of festival organisers Primate Productions of Whitley Bay.

The film festival runs until Sunday, August 28, following the success of last year’s debut event when another sell-out audience of 160 watched a screening of Jaws on Whitley Bay beach.

Today sees community short films at 2.30pm at the Trojan rooms followed at 7pm by independent films.

One will be a film, mostly shot on a 16-day trip earlier this year by Tyneside volunteers to the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila in Beirut.

Youngsters from the camp arrived on Tyneside in May to perform a play by Cullercoats writer Peter Mortimer before moving on to Edinburgh and Liverpool.

The film, by Lucy Riley from Primate Productions, shows rehearsals in the camp and performances at a Beirut theatre and on Tyneside.

“The film is an eye opener because without seeing it people would have no idea what the camp is like,” said Peter.

The festival will also include video film showings in people’s houses in one Whitley Bay street and also in an ice cream van and caravan parked outside.

Whitley Bay’s listed Spanish City Dome will be the venue for many of the films, including King Kong on August 28 and turning the building into a lunar space lounge for a sci-fi night on August 26.

St Mary’s Lighthouse in another location, with special atmospheric effects planned for a sell-out screening of the horror film The Fog on Monday.

Tomorrow and Tuesday there will be showings of archive footage of Whitley Bay at the Trojan Rooms.

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