Incongruously placed in the centre of Leeds Trinity shopping centre sits the Tipple Taxi, a London-black-cab-come-miniature-cinema, showing 5 short films on a half-hour loop, as part of the 29th Leeds International Film Festival.
The interior of the taxi is decorated with a fake grass floor, a flowery ceiling, and potted plants along the back of the seats, making for a unique and kitsch viewing experience. When the doors close, you feel miles away from the bustling shopping centre just outside – the sound quality of the films is really very good for such a diminutive cinema.
Now, on to the tipples. As the name suggests, there is a menu of drinks available in the taxi, brought to you by the charismatic and friendly staff working there, and the prices are very reasonable, alongside the fact that the cinema itself is free. There is also a snack menu, boasting cakes and delicious freshly made popcorn, which you can see popping just outside the taxi as you enter.
The short films were very high quality, and covered both live action and animated storytelling to great effect. ‘Madam Black’ and ‘Hunting for Hockney’ both stood out, with the former showing an amateur photographer humorously trying to cover his accidental murder of a cat, and the latter about a road trip to David Hockney’s house on a whim of boredom. The animation in ‘The Missing Scarf’ was also noteworthy, with the colour and sound working together to masterfully demand the viewer’s attention.
Sitting in the world’s smallest cinema, sipping prosecco, watching short films in a shopping centre? I’ve definitely had worse Thursday afternoons.
Image: The Tipple Taxi (facebook)