What’s On


‘Return Of The Far Fur Country’ (U)

Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start.

£5/£3 under 16

As a prelude to the 2013 John Rae 200 conference held in Stromness, West Side Cinema brought filmmaker Chris Nikkel and his work in progress feature film to Orkney. This year, we welcome Chris back again with the finished film.

In 1919 an ambitious film crew, commissioned by the Hudson’s Bay Company, set off on a coast-to-coast journey in order to chronicle Canada’s vast wildness. For over six months they filmed a country populated by Aboriginal and Inuit trappers, Scottish fur traders and the families that lived in the shadow of one of the oldest corporations on earth.

The completed film premiered across Western Canada and in London and played to packed houses. One Canadian newspaper said the film showed “Scenes Never Shown Anywhere Before”. But then the film faded from view. By the mid-1950s, the footage – more than 20 reels in mismatched order – was given to the National Film Archive, what would become the British Film Institute Archive, for safe keeping.

Forgotten for decades, in 2011 the footage made it’s way back to the Hudson’s Bay Film Archives. Filmmaking brothers Kevin and Chris Nikkel worked from production notes to meticulously piece the film back together, scored a new soundtrack, chronicled this journey and organised a tour of screenings to the communities that feature in the footage.

West Side Cinema is delighted to welcome Chris Nikkel back to Stromness to screen the finished film ‘The Return of the Far Fur Country’, as well as talking about the story of the film, it’s journey through time and recent screenings in Canada.

SAT 11 OCT – Modern Times (U)

Part of BFI’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder

Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start.

One shilling on the door!

75 years ago the cinema at Stromness Town Hall (then situated in Hellihole Road) screened Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’. To celebrate the anniversary, West Side Cinema will bring the film back as part of the British Film Institute’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder.

As it’s an anniversary, we feel like celebrating with a special ticket price of one shilling, the price charged 75 years ago. That’s right, it will only cost you one shilling – you’ll need to work out what that is in today’s money!

And as it’s part of Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder we’d like you to dress up within the theme of SCI-FI/Chaplin. There will be prizes for the best dressed.

Modern Times

Charlie Chaplin and science fiction may not seem an obvious link, but look a little deeper and you’ll see themes and comments on automation, big business, and the risk of humanity lost within it.

Apparently inspired by a conversation with Mahatma Gandhi, in which the Indian leader spoke of “machinery with only consideration of profit”, Chaplin’s life in the factory is like a checklist of dystopian tropes, some of which even preceded George Orwell’s seminal 1984, while sitting comfortably next to the slightly earlier, pioneering visuals of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

BFI’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder is a three-month celebration of film and television’s original blockbuster genre and will include over 1,000 screenings at over 200 locations across the UK in one of the largest and most ambitious sci-fi seasons ever created.


One thought on “What’s On

  1. Stephane Jaeger-Rouse says:

    Great choice of films; can you add us to your emailing list?

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