Next week Pop Up Docs is hosting its first ever screening for dogs (and their well-behaved owners!) as part of Fringe Arts Bath festival. HEART OF A DOG is a film by musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson who reflects on the deaths of her husband Lou Reed, her mother and her beloved dog.
But Pop Up Docs is not the first cinema to invite dogs into their screenings. In 2011 Sweden hosted to is believed to be the world’s first ever dog cinema; a collaboration between the country’s annual Pet Fair and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The very first screening was of the film MARMADUKE, which features a Great Dane in the lead role.
In fact the cinema went one step further and promised not to discriminate against other pets. Gerd Lindén, project manager at the Pet Fair, said in a statement: “As long as it is the family’s best friend, we promise not to discriminate against moviegoers and welcome both reptiles as well as fish in aquariums”
It seems to have taken some time for us Brits to catch on to the idea of a dog-friendly cinema, but just last month, trendy restaurant Wringer and Mangle opened its doors to dog-friendly screenings in its basement, choosing to screen MY DOG TULIP as its inaugural film. And in true London Fields style, the dogs didn’t miss out on designer snacks either: they were provided with dog-friendly popcorn and ice cream!
Although our screening may not have such delicacies on offer (and I’m afraid unlike Sweden’s cinema we can’t accept fish, reptiles or any other pets), we CAN promise a fantastic film that is sure to inspire dogs, their owners and dog-free individuals alike!
As Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal said of Laurie Anderson’s film: “A dog is at the heart of this film, but there’s room for all manner of extraordinary insights about finding love and giving love, being canine and being human.”
*Please note: Having a dog is NOT a condition of entry. Dog-less audience members are very welcome too!