Birds Eye View: Talking Italian

PUBLISHED: 14:50 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 13:34 02 June 2010

ON Tuesday night I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch of The Maltings private cinema. The idea of this wonderful new joint initiative, between the venue and ADeC, is that members of the public can hire out the cinema for a private functio

ON Tuesday night I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch of The Maltings private cinema.

The idea of this wonderful new joint initiative, between the venue and ADeC, is that members of the public can hire out the cinema for a private function, which includes a film of their choice. So you choose your favourite film and the venue will organise a themed evening, with food. The launch film was the Italian Job, the classic 1969 version, and the food, was, of course, Italian or Italian-inspired, at least.

Everyone seemed to have a good time and my guests and I were suitably impressed. Most people are familiar with this classic British film, but have you ever wondered why director Peter Collinson chose to end the film with the get-away coach suspended precariously over the edge of a cliff with the gang at one end and the gold bullion at the other? The answer is simple, Collinson intended to make a sequel, but the original film was not that well received so it never happened. In the intervening years lots of people (yes, honestly, there are websites devoted to it!) have pondered the riddle of how the gang could have retrieved the gold without sending the coach and themselves over the edge of the cliff.

In January 2009, the Royal Society of Chemistry solved the riddle, well a man called John Goodwin did. Mr Goodwin was the winner of a Royal Society competition to find the answer to the Italian Job cliffhanger. According to Mr Goodwin it would have to be done in stages. Firstly, the coach would need to be stabilised by breaking all the windows that overlooked the precipice. Then, a gang member would hang out of one of the windows and deflate the tyres. The fuel tank at the rear of the vehicle would have to be emptied by running the engine. Finally, one gang member at a time leaves the coach and replaces his weight with a large rock. They keep adding rocks until the coach is stabilised and they can retrieve the gold.

So there you have it!

INFO: If you are interested in finding out more information about the private cinema at The Maltings, contact Gemma Wright on 01353 662633.

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