Winter Gardens Film Festival 2018

Whether it’s Daniel Day-Lewis waltzing away in the Ballroom or Samuel L. Jackson playing an evil super villain in the Tower Circus, Blackpool has long been familiar to cinema fans across the globe. Next weekend, this proud legacy is being celebrated with the annual Winter Gardens film festival.

The curtain will lift on this three-day event with a showing of Some Like It Hot, the iconic Marilyn Monroe blockbuster. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon star as jazz musicians who are forced to dress in drag to escape Mafia gangsters – what a great choice for a town famous for its Funny Girls! After the showing (with a free cocktail included in the ticket price), the audience will be treated to an immersive 1920s swing dance party complete with a speakeasy bar.

Other highlights from the programme include a family-friendly screening of The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the oldest surviving animated feature film. Children will be enthralled by the live soundtrack provided by a spectacular array of instruments to accompany the Prince on his journey around the world. Attendees can also sign up for an animation workshop where they can create their own Prince Achmed-inspired short film.

Sunday will be dedicated to women in film, marking 100 years since women were first granted the right to vote in the UK. Disney fanatics will enjoy the singalong Beauty and the Beast showing, which is followed by a discussion – “Feminist or Fraud?” – exploring the gender politics of the movie. There will also be a free screening of “Make More Noise!”, a collection of 21 short silent archive films showing contemporary newsreel footage of suffragettes. And if you’re worried about getting square eyes from spending too long staring at the Opera House’s splendid Art Deco screen, there is the option to join the Seaside Stitchers in a craftivism workshop, which aims at raising awareness for local women’s services.

With so much on offer, including dementia friendly screenings, documentaries and opportunities to meet directors, this is sure to be a box office success.

The full programme of events running from 16th to 18th March is available at, or by searching for Winter Gardens Film Festival on Facebook. Some events are free and all are individually ticketed; the full weekend VIP wristband can be purchased for £50.  

To get 10% discount exclusive to AltBlackpool readers use the code ALTB17 when booking online for the following screenings:-

  • Shiraz, Gueros and Black Gloves on the 17th
  • Bombshell and Hamlet on the 18th 



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