Good luck to all those places re-opening this week.
The Rex is scheduled for THURSDAY 24th JUNE on the back of the few teething days of ‘freedom’ promised for 21st.
No doubt you will already be aware this long tortured free-for-all date may be in jeopardy once more. If not the date, then the paraphernalia of restriction will still be in place. We'll see.
This damnable pox is with us for as far we can cough. So freedom will be threatened by some new variant panic-stations for months-years to come.
We all know it is time to live with it, no matter how scared we are. And the key here is to make sure we live again to the full - before the bastard reaper sucks at the last drop of wine from our lips.
Dying is easy, though it “wouldn’t be my first choice…” We have all lost people. They go missing every night. My brother John has already gone far too soon, along with my Rex ‘brother’ Paul.
A glance at the ordinary non-pox obituary columns is all I need to guess how long I’ve got. There’s no need for that sad face to answer ‘How long have I got Doc...'
I’m at that age, where being neither vulnerable or sick and only ‘old’ by certificate, tells me that my days are numbered. it is now this longing to live a life again before that day - that's the killer.
It is killing our spirit, and when that dies, the rest has no point.
Viruses will come and go - and/or stay. We’ll just have to get on with it.
But there is only one May in any year, and at the risk of being greedy, I don’t want this most precious month, the bringer of bursting new life to the air, the light, hedgerow, wood, stream, meadow and hill, to be my last. Fittingly, it is even cold and grey to match our own down. It dare not be warm and glorious as it was last year when this lockdown business was new and teased ’temporary’.
It brought real hope then, a cruel hope as it turned out. But in its bubbling greens, blossoms pink, and forget-me-not blues, it has brought all of those once again to brighten the grey and lift our hearts. In this, May never fails.
So, our plottings to reopen without fanfare has, during these hollow weeks, been vital to lifting our hearts and spirits once again.
Thus we have a strong opening programme with new titles, a few Oscars, alongside a celebration of our favourite award-free old Favourites.
The new printed programme will be out in full and a listing on-line well before our June opening date (24th).
So you can mark your card before we go on general release in just a few more short/long weeks. (General Release 12th June & ABL 4th June)
For now and as always - “if you have been - thank you for listening”
James Hannaway ... See MoreSee Less
Just 38 more sleeps!
Beautifully written and spot on. Whilst the masks are tedious fact The Rex is opening is something to celebrate - it offers an opportunity to glam up and escape to somewhere sublime. Can’t wait. ❤️❤️❤️
Will be back
Lovely & very true words! I've shared many lovely afternoons & evenings at The Rex with family & a few friends. It's absolutely my favourite cinema & I'm so looking forward to another long awaited visit! Thank you! 😊x
The key to all of this is vaccination and boosters yearly for variants. That's what will get us living with it. Thank god for the scientist or we'd all still be locked up
Thankyou James 🎬🎥
As you rightly say, it's here with us & we just need to try & do what we think is right. There will be days when all you really want to do is shut the door against the outside world & stay in our cocoons But the sun will shine again & we will start to grow in hope of a safer future So yes agree a good decision to postpone reopening Looking forward to returning to the beautiful Rex when the time is right Stay safe Have hope & faith , all will be well if we let it be.
Spot on Mr H, as always! xx
Really looking forward to being back and seeing all our Rex friends again
Looking forward to coming back
Lovely. We have all been waiting with hope, for the Rex - the most precious jewel in Berko's crown - to reopen. Cannot wait to sink down in those velvet chairs, with glass in hand and listen to you tell us why we shouldn't have bothered to come and see the film we are about to watch! Be sure, when you open, those polite claps prior to the screening, will now be roaring cheers as we appreciate with new vigour how lucky we are to have the Rex in our town. Counting the days.
Can't wait x
Oh James, I feel your emotion and almost sense of pain We’re all getting older! Bob Dylan is 80 on 24th of this month (does that make us feel any better?) and may his wise messages stay relevant forever. So wise to hold fire on Rex reopening, we need to stay safe.
Condolences for your losses James
Can’t wait to be be back at the Rex and James I loved your emotional words xx
Exciting to see The Rex featured in the #EmpireBackToCinemas special!
Thank you to @aubrey_writes & @empiremagazine for the interview. This latest copy of Empire Magazine is now available. ... See MoreSee Less
2 weeks ago
The Rex will open once more after 21st June - More than likely we will head for the weekend - so look out for the programme to begin on Thurs 24/Fri 25th: to run on throughout July.
The confirmed date will follow shortly, and the full programme magazine will be out in good time.
The ABL list will be sent out the first few days of June with general release to follow a week later. All dates will be confirmed shortly. This note is just to bring you up to date and pre-warn you in case you are anticipating we might open earlier.
I have chosen post-June 21st so we can open our doors and welcome you in without having to ask you to follow a single rule, recommendation or instruction (fat chance!?)
You are still strongly advised to book in advance as before, but we will open the raffle again with the limited seats we hold back for those who wish to chance the door on the night.
Other than that we hope you will feel free as before (now long ago…) to come in, meet your friends, have a drink, order your cheese plate and take your seats in good time.
As always we will all be on hand to aide the smooth running of taking your seats.
Boris has repeated today (3rd May) that the government will hold to its pledge from January - that Distancing (social & otherwise) will be lifted on 21st June.
But as you know our plentiful distancing has been in place successfully for 17 years (this year!!) and was well established in courtesy, not by orders or fear, however necessary it may have been for this past long 15 months.
Hence our thinking is to let you settle to this tentative freedom again for a few days beforehand, so hopefully more happy to come and enjoy that freedom inside the Rex auditorium once again. We are yet to hear official advice on masks and sanitisers - but there’ll be plenty of soap & water with individual paper towels, as always.
So please, keep an eye on our WebFace in the coming days - for the actual starting date. The programme will then run into a full July.
In the meantime, I thank you for your patience and all the encouragement and well wishes you have given us - even just in the street, over this past empty year.
We look forward to seeing you all again, and as always, to those who have never been before. All are welcome as though we had never closed.
Yours, as always…. James Hannaway ... See MoreSee Less
Thankyou James! 🎥🎬
Great news! The kids are excited to return for some good films across the summer holidays! X
Great news ! Can’t wait. 😎
Lianne Matthews Don’t forget to book us in 😊
Can’t wait to come back again!
Love this place 😀
I have gift vouchers bought fir a Christmas present in Dec 2019 was hoping to use 2020 the date on them is 27/5/21 hoping they will still be valid when you reopen??
Cannot wait to enjoy this. Heather - double date night for us once it’s open!!
Yay! Can't wait.
the only cinema I have missed going to
This is wonderful news + the most positive approach to the stresses. Very best of luck.
Counting down the days 😍
Cannot wait!!!!! 🥰
Daniel Elaine Jill Debbie Matt Sarah Johan
Why not May 17th? Always felt totally safe in the last 13 months when able to visit. Most Odeons are opening. Why not the Rex?
3 weeks ago
It is with great pleasure we can now reveal that we are once again opening our doors. The plan is to open during the week commencing June 21st, the exact date to follow.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all again soon, in the meantime we’ll be finding the best movies for you to enjoy. Best wishes The Rex team. ... See MoreSee Less
Now that is some great news! You’ve been dearly missed!
Yay! Looking forward to it and being back x
Great news! 👍
Fantastic news! Can't wait to be back! Read some interesting stuff a little while ago (think it was some studies in Japan) re relative safety of Cinemas/Theatres where people aren't talking, all sitting same direction, high ceilings etc so people should feel comfortable re returning relative to other indoor venues (and appreciate that's a general statement)
Great news! We’ll be there 🎥
The best news EVER I have missed you
Yessssss!! Janneke Kate
Yessss!!!! Daniel Matt Johan Sarah Debbie Elaine Jill
Marion Berkeley take me, take me ✋🏼✋🏼✋🏼
Sonny Carter 🙂
Ooh yes please
Hello! If we had gift vouchers which expired due to lockdown - are we able to use them still?
We’ve missed coming but looking forward to seeing you soon 🎬
Nicola Vincenti 👯♀️🍿🎥
That’s great news!
2 months ago
𝗪𝗲𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝘁𝗼 𝗮 𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸...
This indulgent observation was to be the second half of whatever that first half was meant to be, a few weeks ago.
But things have moved on rapidly since, albeit in nightmarishly slo-motion.
Opening dates for shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants have been cheerfully declared - each conditional upon ‘our best behaviour’ of course.
A best behaviour that was tested just days ago at a peaceful vigil on Clapham Common, where women gathered to remember the last footsteps of the latest woman innocently going on her way as usual, thinking nothing of her familiar route. Sarah Everard had been walking home early-mid evening some weeks ago, but didn’t get very far. The remains of her body were found half buried in woodland in Kent. A policeman has been arrested and charged. The list of ironies only just beginning.
The vigil was to trace Sarah's footsteps on the night she walked her last. Thousands turned up in the face of strong official advice, no doubt in case they breathed too heavily, or at all. An instruction which has grown steadily wearing on us all but here at Clapham Common, it was not disobeyed lightly.
It began largely silent, a cellphone candlelit vigil shuffling towards the bandstand. However, in the interest of Civil-Obedience, the police force, in all its anti-social yellow-viz, started to break things up as the singing began. They had been sent to disperse a gathering and enforce the social distancing of ‘law & order’. This was all in the name of upholding a temporary ‘law’ plucked out of advisors guessing hats to "stay safe”. So the coppers set about their task with all the calm diplomacy of Jaws at a tea time swimming class. Clearly they were not on their 'best behaviour’ here.
Then again, burly in numbers, perhaps this was their best behaviour…
The ironies are multi-fold. Not even the most glaring being the brutal overreaction they panic busted to keep those peaceful women - Safe.
Stay Safe? - my sweet booty. With nothing open and nobody else out walking at night, nobody is safe - we are just going steadily insane. Not that ugly latest shelter-of-the-moralising-scoundrel and suddenly being peddled at every interview: "mental-health-issues”. No ‘issues’ here, just plain ordinary - Insane. Many have had enough of no longer being alive before we get the chance to die. Now stir crazy, we are crawling up the cell walls.
This horror story catalogue aside, cinemas will be allowed to re-open from roughly 17th May…!!? Wow… Yippee…Hooray……. Yeah Yeah? - so what.
Always beautiful and longed for: May is a whole slow-crawling other-world away. Where its darling buds might heal the memory of this long silent miserable winter of locked away discontent.
To cheer things a little, we have decided to hold off 𝗥𝗘𝗢𝗣𝗘𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗢𝗙 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗥𝗘𝗫 until after the so called free-for-all date of 21st June - when all masks are off and we are free to kiss our Aunt Bettys again. When the doors can be flung open without rules or restriction…?? Yeah Yeah? - we’ll see.
Of the current new releases worth showing, there are a few worth waiting for (but wont blame you if you don't).
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘢𝘯, 𝘑𝘶𝘥𝘢𝘴 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘔𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘢𝘩, alongside 𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘢𝘯 and 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘍𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 - each with fabulous casts and coincidentally up for awards. We wont bother with Mank, which my guess that it would be garlanded with nominations, persuaded us it was worth a preview last December for our 16th anniversary before we were promptly closed down - once more. It is a whining yarn from old Hollywood, so once was enough. Although it turned out to be a timely misery to see us off then, into this deep dim winter - where Christmas was truly, madly, cancelled. Alan Rickman’s demented Sheriff of Nottingham would have been justly proud.
Already, we will attempt to book a couple of cinematic gems made for, and screened by, Netflix: 𝘕𝘦𝘸𝘴 𝘖𝘧 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 & 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘪𝘨 to start, plus a raft of others perhaps already seen, alongside fabulous Oldies from across many diverse languages hidden deep in our 17 year catalogue.
You will be teased with a full list later on - after all - there is plenty of time.
Time to be out in the warming evening light, not stuck so soon inside again, staring at yet another, albeit fabulous, big cinema screen.
So for now, in this meantime I wish you well, in particular those new delinquent pensioners who are now skipping along High Streets all jabbed up and out there.
Stay up girls and boys & etceteras. Be alert but never be scared to walk anywhere, nor afraid to hit unwelcome evil, too hard - with everything you’ve got. JH ... See MoreSee Less
Thank you for letting us know JH... We are still living in very uncertain times.... Lets hope 'normal' will return around the end of June.......we await the listings with excitement 🙂 and thank you for sharing your thoughts on Clapham..... We all have a view, Im happy to listen to yours... best wishes - see you soon
Looking forward to reopening!
👋 see ya
Please show 🎥Supernova starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci directed by Harry Macqueen which will finally be released 9 July 2021. I first saw it at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2020 and can’t wait to see this excellent film again...and again!
I was so looking forward to May, shame we have to wait until late June 😞 We love the Rex, would be super happy if you reconsider.
Miss you James + The Rex and YES definitely slowly going insane 🥺
James Hannaway please can you tell me how I can get in touch with you directly during lock down as the box office is currently closed and there is no e-mail address for you. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and I look forward to hearing from you Kind Regards! 😉
Why didn't you just give the information about the cinema re- opening. WHAT was the need for your views on the events on Clapham common?
Can’t wait for you to open again The Rex has been my happy place these last few years
So looking forward to visiting the best cinema again along with the pre film entertainment! 🥰
it always annoyed me when you inflicted your ignorant monologues on the audience before a film. Must we endure your " angry gammon" rants on facebook too?
James you’re awesome! 💗
It doesn't matter. It matters that she was murdered. Whether it was by a policeman or any other man it was murder and they deserve to be punished. However that "vigil" was not a vigil at all it was an excuse to break the law and took into account none of the feelings of the family who asked people NOT TO BREAK THE LAW.
So looking forward to it.
Good Afternoon will The Odyssey be following a similar re-opening plan?
Very much agree, lovely to see your common sense writings! Thankyou
Can't wait! (Can you show Ammonite?)
Love your passionate words, emotional writing.
Has this site been hacked by a political group?
Were you at the vigil? Were you there screaming at my husband that he's a rapist & a murderer and that I should be raped and murdered as his wife? Because he's a police officer and a man. I'm not sure why people turned up with ACAB signs either - always the tell tale signal of of peaceful protester 🙄 The vigil was cancelled, Sarah's family asked people not to attend and still people went. They could have stayed at home and done the doorstep vigil like they were asked to , but they chose not to.
Regardless of Gov’t announcements on Monday, I anticipate the Rex will not be allowed to open before May, when many/most 2nd (vulnerable age) jabs will have been done, and the whole population should have had their first. Closed-in buildings such as theatres and cinemas will be last on the list. Which is a shame, as there appears to be no evidence that they were responsible for any outbreaks.
Neither has there been any report of this dreaded Pox, sickness or death concerning Rex audiences in the brief opening gaps we almost enjoyed last year.
Ahead of the next round of dos & donts on Monday here's a thoroughly miserable list of personal lockdown loathings.
First thing to keep in mind is that this bastard Pox will not go away - even when it has gone away. We will be hostage to gov’t experts, advisors, medics and daily statistics for months (years!!?) to come.
Then there’s masks, and social distancing. And the fear of strangers that goes with it. Everyone is scared. It is not a good condition for living.
The shops. Why aren’t they open. Supermarkets are worse than any shoe shop. People lean across each other to reach that single apple. As I recall nobody goes near anyone else in a shop.
There has always been a natural space between us in the average High St shop. We have always created our own space. Our natural human instinct keeps us apart. We all know immediately when it feels invaded.
This preposterous exaggerated wide berth business when passing in the street has infected our already fragile trust in strangers, worse than the pox’d virus itself. As for WH Smiths. What in the name of "Jesus el Pifco” (JL) is that doing open, while ordinary shops, even Petals the flower shop, remain closed…? Perhaps Smiths has been deemed to be safe - because nobody goes in the place.
That hand sanitiser stuff gives everyone an air of righteousness and self protection as they rub their hands together like Pontius Pilate. I’ll bet in a few years time, they discover it is worse for your skin than raw diesel - and it eats babies. Besides, I have a nasty feeling people use it as a substitute for washing their hands. I wash my hands before and after I’ve washed my hands! Not a BLT obsession, just a cheap thrill. Howard Hughes - go chew your fingernails.
As for 'mental health’ the latest buzz words used by people who know nothing, and can’t wait to be heard saying it. Of course we’re mad already. We can’t wait to be in an overcrowded airport and get on to sardine tubes and fly all over the Earth just to eat chips and flob like greased whales around contaminated pools - only to fly back with a virus or two under our sombreros.
As for any excuse for someone’s sane idea - the Ocean-Going tower block cities carrying thousands in a confined space, just so they can pollute the rest of the world (long before this Pox).
Happy holidays campers.
To relieve some of your madness, try to remember "Hell is other people” (J-PS). So give ‘em a wide berth. Oh, you’re already doing that. Of course we’re all nuts - try this:
Donald Trump's 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 votes numbered over 74 million…!!?
It’s okay, simply rub some sanitiser (apt name) on to any sane, logical thought before your mind finally crumbles - that oughta do it. JH
(Part two to follow) ... See MoreSee Less
Stick it to 'em, Jimbo‼️😁😁😷😷
Well put James. Hope you're keeping well
Laura Louise Howe
Omg James have missed you 😂 cannot wait to come back ASAP! xx
Well put. I await, with anticipation, part 2 👍
What a preposterous rant,and sadly not the first on this page.
Well said James! I applaud you xx
This is the best thing that I’ve read all year!!!
Great read and you had me until you described mental health as "the latest buzz words used by people who know nothing". Surprisingly ignorant and unpleasant sentiment.
The moment you are allowed to sell tickets again I will be on the steps waiting for the doors to open so that I can book our seats and return to our favourite venue. I will gladly leave Netflix in the rear view mirror. Right behind you James...
Not my idea of travelling I must say. Can’t wait to begin again...
We were so lucky to see Elf literally the day before closure. Xmas seems like 200 yrs ago now. I will be back the minute the doors are allowed to open
Loving this description ... so true on soo many levels 😉
Well said.whsmiths is allowed to be open because it sells office supplies and peeps are supposed to be working from home.the same as woods and other garden centres are allowed to open as good for physical and mental health supposedly. I think theatres and cinemas should be allowed to open before pubs /clubs especially as most can implement social distancing even if it means they only take half capacity as half is way better than none..
I miss The Rex as I love the Art Deco. We must be optimistic. Sadly, it is what it is. Maybe a time to reflect on what we have; not what we’ve lost.
Miss the Rex so much. We’ll be first in when you reopen ❤️
James. A good and well thought out piece. I am looking forward to getting back to The Rex and meeting you and your wonderful staff. Hoping it’s earlier than May. Keep well and see you soon.
That made me laugh and cry at the same time. We had just moved from the south to the area and hadn't had chance to experience The Rex yet. We can't wait to make it a regular hobby. Xxx
What a nice and refreshing surprise to get a dose of sorely missed commentary that checks all the boxes, pushes the right buttons and notes (to a t ) many of the idiosyncrasies and peculiarities that most of us are viewing and performing each day during these strange and hopefully, over soon, times. This post made my night. If May it is then May it is!
Fantastic post and we agree too !!!!!!!
Really missing the Rex and can’t wait to come back as soon as possible . Thanks James
If you came to our 16th anniversary back in December you will have seen this fantastic montage by our Jack, for those that couldn't make it here it is again. ... See MoreSee Less
Brilliant montage - can’t wait to visit again.
Wonderful montage. Didn't want it to end ...
Can't wait to come back 😷🤩
𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗡𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀…
A great locked-up treasure: a scrapbook of snaps of some truly fabulous starry Rex guests. Their names run left to right each line. The dates are harder to find, perhaps you might remember one or two. Please tell us.
Humphrey Lyttelton. Neil Brand, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor. Alan Bennett. Toby Jones. Robin Ince & Stephen Merchant. Barry Cryer & Robin Ince. Barbara Windsor. Terrence Davies. Sylvia Simms & Joan Webb. Charles Dance & Judi Dench. Jack Cardiff. Bill Milner & Will Poulter. Imelda Staunton. Terry Jones & Greg. James Nesbitt with (then) Rex crew. Adrian Scarborough & Mike Leigh. John Hurt. Roger McGough ... See MoreSee Less
Oh for a night at the Rex...
What a lovely record.
I miss Patsy Blackmore in this gallery ❤️
Missing The Rex. Looking forward to coming back between the next lockdowns.
Those were the days! 😁
Humphrey Lyttleon - 14th May 2005.
A very classy collage of photos. But of course they are:)
Didn't Matthew McFadden visit when the film Pride & Prejudice came out? I was very sad to miss that.
Who gave Alan Bennett a bowl of cheese footballs...? Jane Clucas 🤨
Amazing people and good to see the Rex up and running after all the really hard work by the dedicated few in the early days to raise the money, glad I had the chance to help in a very tiny way.
4 months ago
Since we can’t work on any current magazines we are continuing with the archiving of our earlier versions, some of which are already on the website.
This was one of the first, just 2 colours on a folded A4. You could even book via Fax!!
Who remembers this and does anyone still have a copy of this very early programme? ... See MoreSee Less
No, would love one though. I'm missing a few from the first year, but otherwise it's a full set
Sad person I am I have every one since the beginning including all the paper ones
No but I still have my very first ABL card from 2005 😊
Think I’ve still got mine somewhere
I had every one, but only kept the first programme. I have a few copies of James publication " The Berkhamsted Times". and some early publicity stuff.
I've only been collecting since 2011 *hangs head in shame
Omg - I’m loving the book by fax! Brilliant!!!