New Cinema Event in St Helens this Autumn

November 8th to 12th 2016
Alexandra Park, St Helens

The Cinema of Surveillance

pilks-drive-in_low-res_15On Saturday, November 12th we will present an site specific cinema event, in collaboration with Abandon Normal Devices (AND) and Alexandra Park (St Helens) Management Limited, the former Pilkington Glass headquarters.

Featuring the granddaddy of surveillance films Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and the world premiere of a new short film by artist Liam Young, this cinematic event will use the historical home of glass to explore contemporary responses to technology and transparency.

The main event will consist of a film programme, with a choice of viewing options including ‘drive-in’ and ‘viewing gallery’; and quasi-fictional tours of the Pilkington HQ, which will flatten distinctions between famous and forgotten, public and private spaces in the building. The glass fronted office complex will be the backdrop to ask questions related to transparency and invisibility in our society today.

In the days leading up to the main event there will be the opportunity to attend a choice of three themed film screenings in the former Pilkington Glass Board Room for a small audience, featuring landmark counter-surveillance films The Conversation, and Red Road with more titles to be announced.

Patrick Fox, Director of Heart of Glass, said: “The event will be a unique opportunity to see the former Pilkington site from a different perspective, including the chance to take a tour that includes areas never before seen by the public. We have a fantastic programme of work on offer, and we’re excited to animate this iconic site in a new and exciting way”

Gabrielle Jenks, Director of Abandon Normal Devices, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Heart of Glass in St Helens. We’ve been collaborating closely with the partners and artists over the last year, with the aim of creating a project that will engage audiences in the landscape that surrounds them. In November, we transform Alexandra Park into a home for sonic and cinematic espionage for a night of surveillance cinema.” 


The Cinema of Surveillance

Main Event: Saturday 12 November 2016 at 7pm

Tours: Saturday 12 November 2016 (Check for timings)

Board Room Screenings:
8th / 9th / 10th November 2016 at 7pm



Date: 12th November at 7pm
Location: Alexandra Business Park, St Helens

Rear Window (Dir. Sir Alfred Hitchcock / 1954 / cert. PG)

Feature Film

James Stewart and Grace Kelly star in Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, which explores the role of the voyeur. After breaking his leg during a shoot, photo-journalist L.B. ‘Jeff’ Jeffries (Stewart) is forced to spend a humid summer recuperating in his Greenwich Village apartment. Wheelchair-bound he spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Where the City Can’t See (Dir. Liam Young / 2016)

Short Film

Commissioned by AND, directed by Liam Young and written by sci-fi author Tim Maughan, the film is set in the not-too-distant future where Google maps, urban management systems and CCTV surveillance are not only mapping our cities, but ruling them.

Hacked Circuit (Dir. Deborah Stratman / 2014 )

Short Film

Stratman’s portrait of the sound artist at work reveals layers of fabrication as the typically invisible support mechanisms of filmmaking are exposed, proving thematic parallels between the stagecraft of Foley and a pervasive climate of government surveillance.


Artist Led Tours

During the day (November 12th) there will be a number of unique tours of the former Pilkington Headquarters, led by artist Michelle Browne. Focussing on the themes of transparency, invisibility and labour, the tours will also give participants a behind the scenes insight into the history, architecture and memories of this iconic site.

Michelle Browne is an artist and curator based in Dublin, Ireland. She studied Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and is currently completing a Masters in Fine Art at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, Holland. Much of her work is performance based and collaborative and she has performed and exhibited both nationally and internationally. Find out more at


Special Screening Series

A special series of intimate screening taking place in the week preceding the main cinematic event. In the lead up to the event there will be the opportunity to attend a choice of three film screenings that explore the themes of transparency and invisibility. Taking place in the former Pilkington Glass Board Room, numbers are limited to a very small capacity, therefore early booking is advised.

Red Road (Dir. Andrea Arnold / 2006 / cert. 18)

Date: November 8th at 7pm
Location: The Board Room, Alexandra Park

Jackie (Kate Dickie) works as a CCTV operator. Each day she watches over a small part of the world, protecting the people living their lives under her gaze. One day a man appears on her monitor, a man she thought she would never see again. Now she has no choice, she is compelled to confront him.

1971 (Dir. Johanna Hamilton / 2014 / cert. 18 TBC)

Date: November 9th at 7pm
Location: The Board Room, Alexandra Park
Board Room Screening

Before Watergate, Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, there was Media, Pennsylvania. On March 8, 1971 eight ordinary citizens – calling themselves the ‘Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI’ – broke into an FBI office in Pennsylvania, and took hundreds of secret files. In doing so, they uncovered the FBI’s vast and illegal regime of spying and intimidation. Mailed anonymously, the stolen documents started to show up in newsrooms. The heist yielded a trove of damning evidence – the most significant being an illegal program overseen by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover known as COINTELPRO. Despite one of the largest investigations ever conducted, the FBI never solved the mystery of the break-in, and the identities of the members of the group remained a secret. Until now – 1971 is their story.

The Conversation (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola / 1974 / cert. 15)

Date: November 10th at 7pm
Location: The Board Room, Alexandra Park
Genre: Drama/Thriller

A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert (Gene Hackman) has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered


Saturday 12 November, 19:00

Rear Window (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock / 1954 / cert. PG)

(Including supporting short films by Liam Young and Deborah Strapman)

Cinema Tickets (Indoor Seated) – Full Price £6 // Concession Price // £4

Drive-In Tickets – £12 Per Car

Tickets can be purchased online at or and in person every Wednesday (10-4pm) at the Heart of Glass Office (Old Beecham’s Building). Tickets purchased in person are cash only.

Tours are free, but must be booked by visiting or via

Board Room Screenings 8th / 9th / 10th November 2016 at 7pm
 Tickets are free, but must be booked by visiting or in person every Wednesday (10-4pm) at the Heart of Glass Office (Old Beecham’s Building),Water Street, St Helens.

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