One of the things that makes the Electric Palace such a great place to visit is our fabulous, dedicated volunteer team. 

So, who are the people who welcome you when you head up the stairs to the cinema? Find out in our Meet the Volunteers series...

Name: John Knowles

What prompted you to volunteer at the cinema?

Loneliness, desperation, a sense of impending doom and the occasional free snack. I do like a bit of liquorice. 

How long have you volunteered at the cinema?

Way too long, by now I should have been given a plaque of some sort.

What's your favourite thing about the cinema?

Rebecca and Rachel's late night porn lock-ins were always a treat, but sadly now Rachel's taken a back seat (insert own joke). Ah well, memories...

What special perk do love as a volunteer at the Electric Palace?

See above. But I always like the fact that we can submit our own ideas for the programme, though quite why my Hitler inspired films are never chosen is beyond me.

Tell us about an experience at the cinema.

Only Rebecca and Rachel and I know the answer to that, but I can never look at a Curly-Wurly the same way ever again and it's why we also now no longer sell Sherbet Dips.

What film would you like to watch at the cinema?

The film of my life would be handy as I'd like to pinpoint the moment when it all went tits up. But failing that 'Das Boot,' or the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy with no breaks.

Have you ever gone to see a movie and wanted to watch it again immediately?

No, at my age it's straight to the loo.

Volunteers at the Electric Palace sometimes see movies they may not have planned to watch, occasionally outside of their comfort zone or usual taste. Tell us about a film you saw at the Electric Palace that took you by surprise.

Ralph Bakshi's film 'C**n Skin.' Genuinely I was nervous as hell about showing this, but it was extraordinary. Uncomfortable, challenging and a real two fingers to the way that Disney has projected images of black actors and culture onto our screens.

If you could go on a date night at the cinema with anyone living, dead or fictional who would it be and what would you watch?

My wife Susan as we hardly ever get to the pictures alone. Lindsey Kemp and David Bowie.

Tell us about favourite film of yours.

If it's Sunday afternoon then 'Ice Cold in Alex' or 'The Cruel Sea.' If I want a laugh,'Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis.'

Tell us a good film to watch that makes you laugh out loud or blub your eyes out.

Such a  shallow question. I go to the cinema to be transported, to be somewhere, someone else. I go therefore I am... that or 'The Joker' because it's coming, folks, it's coming!!!!

Do you have a memory to share about a great film night at the cinema?

Image of B movie themed cakesWell beyond the Sherbet Dip incident, I'd say the Christmas B-Movie cake reveals are always a high point.

At the Electric Palace as well as our programme of new films we also have other stuff; special film showings like Cinema Plus, B Movie nights and events such as comedy, music, theatre, quiz nights and so on. Tell us about one you like or liked.

If I don't say the B-Movie nights my life will be hell, so yeah that! But of course First Heard play reading events. Sorry, am I allowed to plug my own events?

Do you have a hot tip to share for where you get your film news? A good blog, online reviewer, enewsletter or podcast, for example?

Robin - The B-Movie Fan club programmer. Honestly if he doesn't know it it really is not worth knowing. That and Rachel Mount, my secret informer on all things cultural.

What's a great soundtrack you listen to?

Well now, in my less pretentious moments 'Fritz the Cat' by Ralph Bakshi. I mean Barry White, BARRY WHITE! But if The Guardian picks this up 'Prospero's Books,' Michael Nyman and Peter Greenaway.

What's your favourite snack or drink at the cinema?

Liquorice. Though some of it is like sheet metal so be careful!!

What's your favourite seat?

The dry one.

Finally, tell us something unusual about yourself.

Darling, everything about me is unusual, even my ordinariness is unusual, a facade... and yet is it...?

Find out more about volunteering at the Electric Palace