Friday, 31 July 2009

A Day in the Life of the Dukes

For today's post I am going to hand over to Jon Barrenchea who is the manager of the Duke of York's Picturehouse:

As a cinema manager, people often ask me, what do you do all day? Cheekier ones ask if keeping the popcorn warm really requires a ‘manager’. Let me indulge you with some of the stuff we do at The Duke of York’s Picturehouse.

First of all, without films we really don’t have a cinema, so making sure the films have arrived is the most important thing. Films these days normally play on a digital drive, about 150-200 Gigabytes in size, which are delivered via courier. Once these arrive, our projectionist Jimmy (who’s been here since 1980) will upload them onto our 1.5 tetrabyte server, test it, and then send the drive it arrived in back.

We often get old-fashioned film prints as well, and the process isn’t as straightforward. 35mm prints arrive in reels, usually around six per film, (each reel is about 15 minutes) and then Jimmy will assemble the print onto one big reel. That is then thread through our hybrid 1950s/1970s film projector and shown on the screen.

Other things I get up to are editing our bimonthly listings brochure, programming late night shows, organising comedy and music events, promoting the cinema, and of course updating our website and my blog.

Like any venue, we have to keep things clean and tidy, order stock, change the bulbs, pay people and reply to customer enquiries.

One of the exciting projects we have right now is the 100th Anniversary preparations, I can't reveal all the details just yet but there will be a celebratory event on 22nd September. The Dukes has such a great history, it’s such a treat to work here.

And yes, we do have to make sure the popcorn is fully stocked and warm!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Win tickets to Brighton Beachdown Festival

Where can you find Grace Jones, St Etienne, Grandmaster Flash, The Zutons and Laurent Garnier this summer? Beachdown Festival of course!

With legendary international acts, through to the best of Brighton bands performing on 4 stages, Beachdown offers a total of 42 hours of entertainment across the August Bank Holiday weekend.

And we’ve got 2 tickets to give away!

For a chance to pull up to the bumper with Grace, check out our Beachdown Festival competition on VisitBrighton.



Friday, 24 July 2009

Brighton photography competitions

Congratulations to Verity Parkin who won the Royal Pavilion's children's photography competition. The competition was run in May and coincided with Gardens Week, the challenge was to try and capture the beautiful Pavilion Gardens in a photograph. Verity's winning photo will be re-produced on card which will be available to buy from the Royal Pavilion Shop.

Here is the wining image:

But don't worry if you didn't get the chance to enter this competition as you can still take part in our competition to win a Flip video camera. All you need to do is add a photo of your favourite place in Brighton & Hove to our Flickr group but don't forget to tell us why it is your favourite place as well. The winner will be chosen at the end of August so get snapping!


Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Win a night at Brighton Hotel Du Vin with use of a beach hut!

Yes, we did say beach hut!

To celebrate summer, we’ve teamed up with the lovely people at the ever so stylish Brighton Hotel Du Vin to giveaway a fabulous Brighton mini break for 2 people, complete with use of the hotel’s very own private beach hut on Hove seafront.

The fantastic prize includes:

  • A midweek I night bed and breakfast stay for 2 at Brighton Hotel Du Vin
  • Use of a private beach hut on Hove promenade for a day
  • A Hotel du Vin hamper and use of bikes
For a chance to win, go the VisitBrighton competitions page.

Good luck!

How many lists will Brighton appear on this week?

Is it just me or have there been an awful lot of those Top 10 lists of this, that and the other around at the moment? Mind you I'm not complaining as most of them seem to feature Brighton ;)

Recently we have been listed in two different lists of the Top 50 beaches in the UK. According to The Times Brighton is the 12th best beach but The Independent places us at number 8. And we were pretty chuffed with these results until Skyscanner announced their Top 10 beaches in the world with Brighton in at number 3 which was the only UK destination to be listed, hooray!

Although as we are always keen to point out to journalists and visitors Brighton is not just about the beach, we were pleased to see that this weekend The Times produced another set of lists, and this time Orb360 were included in the 100 great days out ideas for the South and our beloved Royal Pavilion was listed at number 3 for the top 10 Great Houses to visit.

So it seems if you want a poll topping trip to Brighton then you will have to spend some time on the beach, go orbing and visit the Royal Pavilion:


Friday, 17 July 2009

Not something you see everyday...

If next week you decide to take a stroll through the Pavilion Gardens either on your lunch break or on the way to the museum or the Pavilion itself then you'll be in for a little surprise. No the elephants aren't coming back but there will be a fire engine...

The fire engine saw active service, based at Hove Fire Station, from 1929 right through World War II. Later it moved to Peterborough and London, and was finally bought by Hove Borough Council in 1995, and lived out its retirement back at Hove Fire Station. It is now being lent to Amberley Working Museum but before it goes we are being given the chance to wish the machine a happy 80th birthday.

So start baking your birthday cakes and I'll see you down there betweem 11 - 3.30pm on Wednesday 22nd July


Monday, 13 July 2009

Coastal Blogger

People often say to me that they envy me because of my job as I'm not always stuck in the office, I get to find out about all the events happening in Brighton and sometimes get to go to bar openings and the like. And those people are right I do have a good job, but having said that I wouldn't have minded getting the job of being the Coastal Blogger either.

For the next month Scott Ramsey will be making his way around the coast of Britain, trying out all the main tourist attractions as well as looking out for some hidden gems. Along the way he'll get to stay in a variety of hotels and guesthouses as well as sampling all sorts of restaurants. He'll then write about his discoveries on his blog the Edge of Britain. Mind you it will be a bit of a culture shock for Scott as apparently he has never been outside of London!

Well as you may have already guessed Scott started his journey here in Brighton so of course I have to say that sadly his trip will be downhill from now on ;) No I'm sure he'll have a great time on his travels and it'll be interesting to follow his progress. If you want to see what Scott gets up to then you can also follow his blog through the VisitBritian website and he will be including photos and video clips throughout the journey.

Finally to cheer up your Monday here's a lovely shot of Brighton beach:


Monday, 6 July 2009

Win a Brighton yacht sailing weekend

Fancy life on the ocean waves?

With the sizzling summer sun at last upon us, we've teamed up with the lovely people at Lagoon Watersports, one of the country's premier watersport centres, to give away a weekend yacht sailing course worth £249!

This course provides a short introduction to sail cruising for novices. By the end of the course you will have experienced steering a yacht, sail handling, ropework and be aware of safety on board.

Ooo ar me hearties.

Visit the VisitBrighton Competitions page to enter.

Good luck!