Cathy Benson

I grew up on Merseyside, but haven’t lived there for many years, though I visit relatively often. However, I have very fond memories of the cinema in the basement of the Bluecoat. I used to go with my mother, to see foreign language / arthouse films, and we loved it. Apart from being the only place to see such films, there used to be (for a while at least) a Vietnamese family who sat at the top of the stairs leading to the cinema, cooking food for cinema-goers on a couple of rings (gas or electric, I don’t recall); so we’d go along, buy our delicious Vietnamese meal and then go down to watch our French (or Italian, or whatever) film. A great evening out. It’s a real shame the cinema shut; I’m not sure of the reason. I suspect neither its location underground with no fire exit (if I remember correctly) nor the peripatetic Vietnamese cooks met Health and Safety regulations? “Fact” is fine, but it does seem to mainly show mainstream films with the occasional foreign offering – the programming at the Bluecoat was much bolder and more varied.