Edinburgh Fringe 2017
Back in the 1960s there were seven mobile cinemas made for the Ministry of Technology. There is now only one left. Nicknamed Audrey, she (you can’t possibly call an Audrey ‘it’) is spending the 2017 Fringe outside Assembly Rooms on George St offering short free shows during the day and ticketed screenings in the evening. Daytime shows are about ten minutes every 15 minutes. The evening shows are comedy and full screenings; chosen by leading comics at the festival.
In the early 1960’s the Government researched the idea of a mobile cinema that could travel around to engineering firms and giving training sessions on how they could improve industrial productivity. A prototype Mobile Cinema was created and by 1964 this was visiting engineering firms and giving training sessions. After ironing out some early problems a further seven were built in 1967. They were based on a Bedford van chassis and toured the country until 1974 when they were sold off. Each one travelled with a trailer that housed an exhibition. KJU, now known as Audrey, is the last remaining one, and, until recently her trailer was thought to be completely lost. Owned and cared for by Ben Moorhouse Audrey visits festivals and events all over the UK with several appearances on television.
Parked outside the Assembly Rooms (Venue 20) in George St she is the perfect thing to stumble over at the Fringe. One of the quirky delights of pausing between shows; a moment to stop and step into another world. Ben welcomes us into the tiny 20 seater cinema – it’s easy to imagine we have stepped back into the late 60s. The short programme starts with a film about Audrey and the latest project – renovating her original trailer, because last year the trailer was found and there are plans to restore her to be a cocktail bar to accompany the cinema. The second part of the programme is a wonderful glimpse at early Edinburgh festivals from British Pathe News. We step back out of the cinema and look at the crowds around us with new eyes.
The evening programme is ticketed and has a changing programme of comedy with The Comedians Film Club at 10pm – where leading comics introduce a screening of their favourite film.
Audrey is unique and well worth seeking out. It will be one of the most enjoyable 15 minutes of your Fringe.
Note: whilst the day time shows are free Ben is fundraising towards the renovation of the trailer, so, in the manner of all the best free shows, there is a bucket and he would be very grateful if you contribute to it.
Daytime schedule: 12:00 – 18:00 (every Monday-Thursday). 11:00 – 18:00 (every Friday- Sunday). 10min film that repeats every 15mins.