After the Grosvenor
of Oct 1996, and throughout early 1997 there was a real dip in the
fortunes of RHPS. Screenings were pretty scarce on the ground, and a
chance visit to a pal's band's gig at a "dodgy Cinema", Divally's,
plus a couple of pints with good chum and ex-Fork Neil, inspired the
two of us to set up the Fleapit Film Club, with the aim of screening
Rocky and other cult movies in a pub/club environment. The night in
question was the third ever Fleapit screening, and the first time we'd
done Rocky, at quite such a "salubrious" venue.
Actually, the place itself
wasn't really that bad, but it seemed to be run by some fairly shady
people, and the bar was staffed by some very young ladies wearing less
than we wore in our Rocky gear. We would soon find out that Fleapit
just wasn't going to work there, because of the sleazy reputation which
scared people off, and also nobody knew where the bloody place was!
We had what would turn out
to be our best turn out of all the films we ever screened at Divally's.
I think about 20 people were there, including the then famous by association
Layla McCay (who had written to the cinema where I worked pleading for
Rocky, and had her contact details pinched for Forks "marketing
purposes") and four or so of her friends.
The group was Martin (Trixie/Eddie),
Me (Frank), Carole (Janet) and Saff (Columbia). We also had Kate (Magenta)
and Scott (Riff) at that show. Layla and friends were devirginised,
I killed Eddie with his inflatable sax and burst it in the process and
Carole performed Touch-A with the Invisible Man which had to be one
of the funniest things I'd ever seen at Rocky!
Divally's really was perfect
for Rocky. As well as the grotesquely seedy ambiance, it had a small
stage below the 8-foot video screen, an exit door off stage right, a
star dressing room - ahem, ladies toilet! - off stage left. The aisle
came down to stage left from the entrance at the back of the cinema,
and there were 8 rows of suspiciously stained seats. So it was the ideal
size, it had entrances and exits where you wanted them, and it was sleazy
as hell. Problem was, nobody ever really wanted to be there.
It was really an unpleasant
place. Under different management (and without the performing bar staff)
it could have been a real Fleapit. Buying it over myself is still one
of my "lottery winning" dreams.