It's eighty years since the Salford Workers' Film Society had its first screening at Princes' Cinema on Liverpool Street.
That original meeting showed such movie delights as The First Time In History - `The first film dealing with the Five Year Plan of socialist construction in Soviet Russia to be shown in Salford' – and The Thames - `A series of views from the river from Teddington to Southend, including shots of various types of shipping'. Yep, a fun time was had by all, relieved only by Laurel and Hardy's The Music Blasters.
Since then, the Salford Workers' Film Society has been having continuous screenings, although it moved to Manchester in 1930 when a proposed screening of a Russian film called Storm Over Asia was banned by Salford Watch Committee because Salford councillors thought it would it would cause a riot.
The silent black and white film directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin was set in the early 1920s during the Russian Civil War, and depicts a Mongolian descendant of Genghis Khan joining the revolution against the Brit-backed Tsarist White Russians to kick them out of his homeland…
…Too much for Salford's powers that be but Manchester allowed the revolutionary film to be shown a year later and the Film Society has met there ever since, changing its name to the Manchester and Salford Film Society.
Storm Over Asia was never shown in Salford until a special screening at the third Salford Film Festival in 2006, where it was hailed as a masterpiece. There were no riots recorded.
Since 2005 the Society's archive has been stored at the Working Class Movement Library and this new exhibition features the film plus some early programme notes, a minute-book from 1938 and posters from the 1940s and 50s.
There are also items demonstrating the Society's extensive links with other organisations, both inside and outside the film world, and the involvement of its members in various broadcasts over the years.
"We are delighted that the Society has come back to Salford to mount this exhibition and that it has been possible to display so many items from our archives" says Library Manager, Lynette Cawthra.
Manchester and Salford Film Society Exhibition
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent, Salford M5 4WX
Open 1pm - 5pm, Wednesday to Friday until the end of May
Further details 0161 736 3601 www.wcml.org.uk