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29th May 97

by Emma

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.

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