An evening under the stars with (John Travolta!)

Last weekend we spent our Saturday evening with Starry Night Cinema at the gorgeous location of Oriel Plas Glyn Y Weddw in Llanbedrog. The film of choice: The iconic Saturday Night Fever starring an extremely youthful John Travolta. Lauren tells us all about her evening….

 

Once I saw the summer schedule launched for Starry Night Cinema, I knew which film would be the top choice for me to attend; I’m ashamed to say that i’d never seen this iconic film – the film that launched John Travolta’s carreer and who’s famous soundtrack helped popularise the already growing genre of disco music. And while I could rent the film online or even order the DVD to sit in front of at home, I could not miss the opportunity to spend the evening amongst beautiful surroundings, in the fresh air and under the stars- with good friends and lovely food.

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Around 7:30pm when we arrived, people already settling down and finding their perfect spot to watch the film

We arrived at the venue not long after the suggested start time of 7pm, and many of the attendees had already set up their picnics on the benches on the rolling lawns outside of the gallery. Seeing that there was no bench space left we decided to set up our picnic up the hill in front of the big inflatable screen onto which the film would be projected in a couple of hours time. We found a lovely spot to unpack our cheese and biscuit selection, and cracked open the bubbly! Advantage of settling where we would eventually watch the film: laziness (no need to move once start time approached) Disadvantage: there were considerably more midges! Happily the lovely Starry Night staff had some bug spray to lend us, and we managed to deter the little insects!

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Posh picnic at it’s finest!

The photos don’t do the view justice. The sky was a little cloudy but we had been granted some lovely warm weather that evening, considering around 11am that day it had been raining we had done very well there. The afternoon sunshine had even dried the ground for us too. We had perfect weather conditions.

Behind the pop-up screen and peeping out from behind the trees you could see Cardigan Bay and the coastline of Pwllheli, and it was even clear enough to see Criccieth and beyond in the distance. To our left the distinctive and historic building of Oriel Plas Glyn Y Weddw sits at the bottom of the hill. Well worth a visit in the daytime not only to view its impressive interior, but also to see the gorgeous art exhibits held within, mostly by Welsh and local artists.

As we happily enjoyed our evening picnic, the atmosphere was relaxed and happy. We could smell the popcorn being sold by the event staff by the entrance and if it had not been for our copious amounts of picnic food we might have indulged in a traditional cinema snack too!

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Approaching dusk and the ampetheatre was filling up

 

The light soon began to fade as we approached sunset and the film’s start time, so after eating our fill of food we packed up our picnic before it got too hard to see and settled into our deck chairs, conveniently laid out specially for the occasion. There was a choice of two areas to sit; on the stepped stone seating of the ampetheatre, or behind on the grass on deck chars arranged neatly into rows by the Starry Night staff. For the unprepared and without something to sit on (like me when I attended last year) there were small padded seats available to rent for a very small fee. Last year I thought i’d be okay just sitting on a blanket – My numb bum did not thank me for it! This year the deck chars were a vast improvement on that. My top tip if you’re thinking of attending: bring a cushion or rent a padded seat to sit on – you wont regret it!

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The sun set and the film began!

The sun went down and thankfully the night still remained an nice temperature. There was a short introduction to the film by the staff, and an encouraging invitation to embrace the urge to dance and sing along with the film (which I was very happy to hear!) And the film began, beaming John Travolta’s youthful 6 foot high visage onto the amazing backdrop.

In the opening scenes, there are some very revealing shots of Travolta getting ready to go out for the night, and these were met with some excited whooping from the crowd, setting the tone for a great night of audience participation! Upon viewing John’s generous on-screen …ahem.. *package*…my friend Maxine next to me declared aloud ‘I LOVE the 70’s!’

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Now I’m a sucker for cheesy music, and the soundtrack did not dissapoint. From the outset the crowd were thoroughly enjoying the music, at some points I was happy to see people getting up to show off their best disco dance moves along with the film

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About halfway through the film, I heard the ‘call of nature’ so to speak, and thankfully Oriel Plas was open for the film-goers to use it’s facilities. I negotiated my way down the hill by the light of my phone torch, and passed through the cafe, happy to see it was still open and available serving food and drinks for the attendees if they fancied it.

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A slice of disco in the Welsh countryside

From our position quite far back the sound was still crystal clear, I remember taking a moment to appreciate how well the sound was carrying, then realised the ampetheatre was probably built for this purpose, It served the film well anyway, above the merriment of the crowd we didnt miss a word. The film was sufficiently fun-filled and at times a bit gritty, and VERY 70’s. It made me decide my next birthday party was going to be 70’s themed. How I wish I could travel back in time and go out on a night like that!

We had a wonderful evening under the stars, and if you get the chance to go we thoroughly reccomend it. There are a few more dates this summer, (see schedule below) you can book via Starry Night’s website. Follow tham on facebook too for up to date information on upcoming events!

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Please note that the film on Monday 14th of August has changed to ‘La La Land.’

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I always love to hear recommendations from you of places visit or things to do on Pen Llŷn, so either comment on this blog, write on our facebook wall or tweet us your suggestions! And don’t forget to tag us in your pictures, especially if you are enjoying a night out at Starry Night Cinema! Tag us in your food pics on instagram!

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