Watching a film at the Roxy was different than any other venue because of the personality it had. Compared to the British Film Institute, where the whole experience is based around the quality of the movie watching, the Roxy brought something completely different. At the Roxy, the experience felt more influenced by the community and than the movie itself. The people were friendly, having a drink or a bite to eat. It was more like a coffee shop than a traditional movie theater.
Another thing that set this experience apart was the movie quiz before the show. This is something I have been apart of before in the states, but being apart of it in England made me feel like I was experiencing the roots of the practice. During the quiz I felt a bit out of place. The Roxy is a place where cult fans go to watch under rated movies. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be apart of that experience. It was too personal to these people, too intimate for me, an outsider, to join in on. Watching people throw up their hands and shout out answers is something that would be unseen at the BFI.
Apart from the venue, the thing that made this experience special actually had nothing to do with the movie. It was the part when Pam, Nicole and I were offered a plate of cold food and a half eaten plate of food from the man next to us at the bar. That is something that would never happen in the states. That moment gave me my sense that this place was special. It was a community. It was where people came to talk, relax and maybe watch a crappy movie or two.
I don’t know if I would ever find such a place like the Roxy in the states. It gave me a strange vibe that put me out of my comfort zone. I felt like it was someones home. Maybe it is the home of the community, maybe it’s where cult lovers go to indulge once a week. I don’t know if I will ever understand the feeling it gave me, but I can rest assure that this is another reason why I am constantly being surprised by this city.