Cast your mind back to 1985 – if you are old enough!! Police Academy and Rambo were both on number 2 in their sequels, Rocky had reached it’s fourth outing, meanwhile more original films were also on our screens – The Goonies, Back to the Future, Brazil, The Breakfast Club were all hitting the screen that year! If that fare was not to your taste then how about The Falcon and the Snowman, The Emerald Forest, A Room with a View, Out of Africa or Prizzi’s Honour? Looking back a bit of a “Golden Era” perhaps?
Amongst all this, in Britain, Milton Keynes, one of the so called “New Towns” was just coming into it’s own. In the 1960’s several “New Cities” were proposed, Milton Keynes one of them. If you google (MK) you will often see it’s founding date stated as 1967, this is of course something of a misnomer as it has a long history.
That year, amongst others, I had a 110 camera, I also has the Zenith 11, I know this, as I took a picture of it with my 110! Fancy making photo’s OF other cameras – some things never change I guess! I found this little packet of tiny negs that brought back the memory.
A monumental event that happened that year on my radar was the opening of Britain’s very first Multiplex – by AMC in Milton Keynes. It’s design was to be fitting of this “New Town” and so “The Point” came into existence- I took along my 110!
The frame had neon lights along it’s beams so that it looked like a pyramid at night. During the day the ziggurat shape of the white building was more apparent. I believe that the first film shown was Rocky 4, and because it could, I also believe that the film was shown in all 10 screens – the same print that is! It’s single projection box covered all 10 screens and so the film could be looped around the box through each projector. The main excitement of course was that in normal operation one could choose from at least 10 films!! Literally unheard of in the UK until this “Point”.
Things develop of course and over the years another cinema arrived, movie viewing changed, other multiplexes opened and eventually – sadly, the point ended up the way that most iconic cinemas in the UK did – a bingo hall! The Point showed it’s last film and closed its doors 26th February 2015, not quite marking it’s 30th as a cinema. The following day ‘Odeon’s Milton Keynes Stadium’ opened it’s doors in another location.
The building carried on as a bingo hall but days before the first Covid lockdown that too went out of business. A application to Historic England was made to save the building but was rejected as the building “lacks any architectural merit”. It is slated for demolition but no date has yet been set for it to start.