Outdoor theatre right up movie lovers’ alley

Octayvia Nance

SEARCHING for Sugar Man with a tot of sherry, hopefully with the stars still twinkling on a clear winter’s night.

That is what a Port Elizabeth woman is promising film lovers at the city’s open-air movie theatre in Richmond Hill tonight.

Yvonne Macaulay, 54, opened the theatre after looking at the neglected alley next to Posh restaurant in Stanley Street.

She was inspired and started envisioning an intimate space where one could sit and watch some great movies while enjoying a take-out bought at any of the restaurants in the trendy street.

“There is a little alley leading up to my shop. The previous owner had called it Il Vicolo, meaning ‘the alley’ in Italian. As I mulled over the word ‘alley’, it did not take long for ‘Alley Cat’ to pop up.

“Since I was a child, I have loved watching movies … cradling a box of popcorn on my lap. I can still recall the excitement I felt when the MGM [Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer] lion roared, signalling the start to an hour and a half of magic,” she said.

“Sharing my love for watching movies outdoors in the evenings is just the beginning of what will become a full-time business at Alley Cat.

“A love for the outdoors and a love for movies brought about the idea of how best to utilise the alley space. It used to be an art and ceramic shop.”

The theatre can seat 15 people and for R50 (R35 for pupils), movie-goers get a seat, cushions, blankets and – on really chilly evenings – a glass of port or sherry. “Guests are welcome to bring along a meal. Angie Creaven from Posh, who I share premises with, also offers to make up a ‘lap’ box of delicious finger-foods which must be pre-ordered,” she said.

Tonight, at 6.30 for 7pm, Alley Cat is screening the 86-minute Swedish-British documentary film, Searching for Sugar Man.

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