BARC midnight matinees

On January 11th and 18th BARC members filled the comfortable Curzon Cinema for their private midnight show of motoring films-a delightful innovation devised by John Morgan for his members’ pleasure, and now in its third year. The show opened with some particularly good filming of Shelsley Walsh by the Shell film unit. This was followed by a Television Newsreel of Farina’s mastery of Goodwood and Parnell’s efforts to secure second place, Brian Shawe-Taylor being caught in the bushes at Woodeote on the lap on which his ERA later experienced its unhappy accident.

Movietonenews and Gaumont-British News provided selected motoring features, punctuated by shots of football, ice hockey and other sports, and a very fine parade of bathing beauties, without which the midnight matinee would be incomplete and until the showing of which even the most blasé members stay wide awake. [We intend to apply for track passes to one of these parades.—Ed.]

Mickie Mouse also, did his stuff and a preview was shown of a new Metro Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon in which America laughs at its own style in automobiles, a film no vintage enthusiast should miss. Shell showed Stirling Moss explaining the four-wheel-drift to Raymond Baxter, first using a fine scale-model of the Rob Waiker Delahaye on a bar counter, then with a Jaguar XK120 at Silverstone. In the early part of this film and in one of the newsreels we saw the great Jaguar XK120C victory at Le Mans—and in both. instances brief but effective night shots were included. The show concluded with the Vacuum Oil Company’s colour film of the 1951 Indianapolis “500,” which gave a good general impression of the atmosphere and character of this American race. It was noticeable how comparatively leisurely were the pit-stops, change of two wheels and refuel of a leading car occupying 30 sec for instance. This film, for which Sound Services Ltd. installed a special 16-mm, projector, was devoid of advertising matter and had been flown over from America.

The Midnight Matinee has become an accepted social event in the motoring calendar and this year the moonlight night of January 11th made the run home an additional enjoyment.