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Fill up on film at London’s first petrol station-cinema, says James Pallister

[THIS WEEK] When considering the type of nourishment available at your local forecourt, a Scotch egg, half a tank of unleaded and a pack of 20 fags may more readily spring to mind than any great cultural sustenance.

For one forecourt in London’s Clerkenwell though, things are looking interesting. In my first weekly column picking out the best books, events, exhibitions and
happenings in architecture’s cultural calendar, I recommend you book now for Cineroleum, London’s first petrol station-cinema. It’s the result of 14 Cambridge architecture graduates begging, borrowing and building the requisite kit to turn the forecourt of a decommissioned petrol station into a functioning cinema.

As well as the essential projector and screen (courtesy of the British Film Institute), the temporary venue is kitted out with ranked flip-down seating made from scaffolding timbers and 600m of Tyvek insulation sheet that bunches together to make theatre-style curtaining to enclose the space during screenings.

The programme (every ticket costs a fiver) caters for petrol-heads and architecture enthusiasts alike. Duel, Steven Spielberg’s debut feature in which a huge tanker truck relentlessly pursues a terrified motorist, is followed by a rare showing of the new version of Metropolis. Courtesy of a long-lost 16mm section of the film turningup in Buenos Aires, Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic has been updated with an extra 27 minutes.

The four-week season of films kicks off on 20 August and runs until 12 September. The first flick is Rebel Without a Cause. There’s still time to book your ticket
and perfect your adolescent snarl.

■ www.cineroleum.co.uk
■ www.metropolis1927.com

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