The Warwick Student Cinema and the Vue Cinema in Leamington Spa are the most obvious go-to locations if you’re new to the campus and have a passion for film. Both provide an excellent cinematic experience. The staff at the Student-run cinema are particularly helpful and choose an excellently varied selection of films for screenings, making a trip to L3 in the Science Concourse a genuine pleasure. However, as I enter my third year at the University, I can say with absolute certainty that the two greatest film hotspots at Warwick are the Cannon Park Shopping Centre and the University Library.
Just a short walk from the campus, Cannon Park has a host of brilliant locations for finding quality films, including the always reliable CeX and a number of charity shops. CeX is an absolute godsend as they sell most of their DVDs for just 50p. You can go in with a tenner and come out with 20 films, as I have done on multiple occasions. Due to CeX’s proximity to the university, their collection of DVDs isn’t just the cheapo slasher films and 30 consecutive copies of Quantum of Solace that you might expect. I have a sneaky feeling that film students trade-in their old DVDs at CeX in the bulk load, meaning that if you’re lucky you may well nab a cheap copy of Visconti’s The Leopard, an Arrow Video release of a 70s cult classic, or even a BFI DVD packed with special features.
The University Library holds over 3,000 DVDs, covering both film and TV from around the world
Annoyingly, I didn’t buy The Leopard when I had the chance. Both the Myton Hospice and Acorns charity shops in Cannon Park shopping centre also stand as solid sources for obscure film and TV finds, as evidenced by the Soviet propaganda films DVD that I picked up at Myton Hospice last year. Though Cannon Park is a solid film hotspot, it doesn’t hold a candle to the library. The University Library holds over 3,000 DVDs, covering both film and TV from around the world. The small collection of short-loan DVDs is easily found on the ground floor, but the true treasure trove lies in the floor 3 extension. In my first year I couldn’t quite believe my luck when I crossed the bridge into the extension building and found an enormous film collection, all free to borrow.
Among these DVDs are world cinema classics such as Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, Kenji Mizoguchi’s Sansho Dayu and Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket, all of which are incredibly expensive and very difficult to locate otherwise. In my first year I nursed my social anxiety and worries about grades by visiting the library and leaving with a giant stack of DVDs. Those early days at university watching films by Von Trier, Cronenberg, Bergman, Billy Wilder, and Todd Haynes stand among my most cherished film memories. If I could impart one message to fans of cinema moving to Warwick, I would tell them to get to the library as soon as they possibly can.