Pinboard: Scalarama at the Cool Cat Cafe screens 60s classic Alice’s Restaurant


Cinema is having quite a moment in London this month, with lots of excellent free screenings south of the river. …



Arlo Guthrie and Kathleen Dabney in a still from the 1969 film, Alice's Restaurant
Arlo Guthrie and Kathleen Dabney in a still from the 1969 film, Alice’s Restaurant

Cinema is having quite a moment in London this month, with lots of excellent free screenings south of the river. Not only has the 10-day Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival just kicked off, but all September long there is also Scalarama, formerly Scala Forever and Scala Beyond (after the King’s Cross venue where the event first took place).

Scalarama describes itself as a call-to-arms for people to “fill the land with cinemas” and “experiment with watching films they might not have heard of before or uncover gems from across the history of cinema”. As such, all sorts of venues have signed up to show an excellently varied roster of movies – and this Saturday Camberwell’s Cool Cats’ Cafe, a newish and nice-looking little bar/restaurant hidden in the backstreets, is hosting a screening of 1969 classic, Alice’s Restaurant.

The film, a clip of which you can see above, stars the folk singer Arlo Guthrie and is based on Guthrie’s epic narrative song of the same name. Alice’s Restaurant wittily and musically captures some of the reality behind the hippie movement and charts the journey of a young guy (Guthrie, as himself) trying to shirk military service and getting into all sorts of scrapes along the way.

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cool cats cafe camberwellCool Cats’ Cafe, 149 Southampton Way, SE5. Tel: 020 7701 3933. The film will start at 9pm and entry is free – so arrive early to nab a good seat. The bar is open until 1am and they’ll be serving food throughout the evening. (And you can read owner Toby’s foodie shopping guide here.)

Find out more about Scalarama’s London-wide screenings throughout September here – including movies on the Rye, at Kennington’s Cinema Museum and the East Dulwich Tavern. @scalarama


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