The 17th of May saw the inauguration event for our new IOP Lincoln Centre, which forms a part of IOP East Midlands branch. Held at the Art Deco Ritz cinema on the High Street, the event was the first ever Physics Film Night in Lincoln.
Around 50 physics enthusiasts came to watch and discuss a period drama Agora (2009) by multi-awards winning director Alejandro Amenábar. Set against the backdrop of events in the late Roman Empire, in the dramatic settings of Alexandria and its library, “Agora” tells a touching story of science, religion, politics and love. Its protagonist, Hypatia, is a historical figure who was a notable teacher, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and even what is now called a physicist, and perhaps the last female scientist of antiquity. Before the film there was a short introduction talk by Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky, Head of School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Lincoln. IOP Lincoln Centre is hosted by this one of the newest Physics departments in UK. The film sparked numerous discussions, and you can understand why if you watch this commentary on History Buffs YouTube channel:
The next in the Centre’s Physics Film Nights program is Contact starring Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey. This is a fascinating film about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Recent scientific report from SETI about mysterious signal spikes emitting from a star in the constellation Hercules—95 light years away from Earth brings this 1997 science fiction classic back to the front stage. Before the film there will be a few words by Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky and a short introduction to the Lincoln Astronomical Society by Dave Castledine.
The Ritz cinema in Lincoln is a unique venue, where a film can be combined with pre- or post-film discussion in a group. The original 1937 movie theatre with seating for 1,240 people is now hosting two venues: Ritz cinema itself with 225 seats auditorium and own bar and a JD Wetherspoons pub, which occupies the foyer and stalls area on the ground floor of this flamboyant building.