❚ DAVID BOWIE IS A LIVE NATIONWIDE cinema event at 7pm on August 13 as the finale to the V&A’s successful exhibition, when special guests offer insights into the stories behind the artefacts from the Bowie Archive.
It is to be screened in 19 UK cinemas named today by Picturehouse Entertainment. Members’ priority booking started from today Monday June 24, and the public get what’s left on Friday June 28. So if we are to judge from the V&A’s track record of Bowie-related talks and special events at the Museum itself, this will mean none at all.
V&A Director Martin Roth is deluded if he thinks – as his quote suggests in today’s announcement – that he is reaching “the widest possible audience” when tickets to these 19 tiny cinemas are on sale for four priority days to V&A Members and Picturehouse Members, before being offered to Joe Public.
The biggest cinema at Greenwich Picturehouse, for example, seats only 174 people! “Wide” that is not.
❏ Update June 24 – the Victoria and Albert Museum replies: “We will be announcing further cinemas on Friday when all tickets go on sale. It will be screened at over 200 cinemas nationwide – the first 4 days of booking are Picturehouse Cinemas only. Do check back on the website for new cinemas as we confirm them.”
❏ Shapersofthe80s comments: At a generous estimate, then, going by the Greenwich auditorium, this event might eventually be seen at 200 cinemas by up to 4,000 people. The V&A claims that the Bowie exhibition itself has received nearly 200,000 visits – so it’s an absurd imaginative leap to suggest that a further 4,000 people represent “the widest possible audience”. His marketing department should choose museum Director Martin Roth’s sound-bites for him with more care.
Tickets for Joe Public are apparently only available direct from participating cinemas – not online – from Friday 28th priced £10–£14 and do not yet appear on the museum’s map. Fans lucky enough to be in fulltime employment on Friday will thus have to wait till Saturday morning to hightail it to the selected cinema in their nearest big town. Do any of these museum people lead real lives?