Award-winning Cold War Spy Story

'Bridge of Spies' is showing on Friday 27th May at 7.45pm

The 1960 U-2 incident which is the background to this film happened during the Cold War on 1 May 1960, during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower and the premiership of Nikita Khrushchev, when a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down whilst in Soviet airspace. The aircraft, flown by Central Intelligence Agency pilot Francis Gary Powers, was performing photographic aerial reconnaissance when it was hit by an S-75 Dvina (SA-2 Guideline) surface-to-air missile (one of eight fired at it) and crashed in Sverdlovsk. The U-2 flew at very high-altitudes (70,000 feet, 21,000 m), above the flight ceiling of any Russian fighters. A chasing Russian jet pilot was killed when his plane was destroyed by other missiles. Powers parachuted safely and was captured.

Gary PowersInitially the United States government tried to cover up the plane's purpose and mission, but was forced to admit its military nature when the Soviet government came forward with the captured pilot and remains of the U-2 including spying technology that had survived the crash as well as photos of military bases in Russia taken by the aircraft. Coming roughly two weeks before the scheduled opening of an east–west summit in Paris, the incident was a great embarrassment to the United States and prompted a marked deterioration in its relations with the Soviet Union. Powers was convicted of espionage and sentenced to three years of imprisonment plus seven years of hard labour but would be released two years later on 10 February 1962 during a Berlin prisoner exchange for Soviet officer Rudolf Abel.

Berlin WallThe Berlin Wall was a barrier that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany), starting on 13 August 1961, the Wall completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin until government officials opened it again in November 1989. Its demolition officially began on 13 June 1990 and was completed in 1992. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defences. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the Wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that had marked East Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.

Glienicke BridgeThe Glienicke Bridge is a bridge across the Havel River in Germany, connecting the Wannsee district of Berlin with the Brandenburg capital Potsdam. It is named after nearby Glienicke Palace. During the Cold War it was used several times for the exchange of captured spies and thus became known as the "Bridge of Spies".

Chris Bontein

Directed by Steven Spielberg, 'Bridge of Spies' stars Tom Hanks, Alan Alda and Mark Rylance. 

Mark Rylance won the 2016 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor with his portrayal of Rudolf Abel, the Soviet Intelligence Officer in the exchange.

The film was also nominated for Best Motion Picture, Best Original Screenplay and three other awards.

Steven Spielberg

Stephen SpielbergDirector Steven Spielberg is undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film. He is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world as a result of countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, director and writer.

He was one of the first film school educated directors rather than being trained up inside the Hollywood Studio System which by the end of the 1960s was collapsing with large debts from historical epics that frequently failed to match the changing tastes of the US youth audiences. His big breakthrough was Jaws (1975) that invented the 'blockbuster' movie concept (spend as much on promoting the film as it cost to make) and his success with this lead to many other now famous young film makers getting a chance to break into the industry such as George Lucas with Star Wars.

Spielberg’s initial movie focus was on movies with strong adolescent and family themes like ET, Close Encounters, the Indiana Jones franchise and later Jurassic Park. He also became active as a producer being involved with The Goonies, Back to the Future franchise, Schindler’s List which he also directed. The late 1980s saw Spielberg move away from the themes of childhood and tackle more adult stories and adaptations such as The Colour Purple, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan and A.I. In the 2000s he moved into TV production with the highly acclaimed Band of Brothers.

He continues to remain active as producer, director and writer with a production schedule of big budget projects stretching forward many years.

Chris Bontein


Other Currently Planned Films:


Friday 24th June at 7.45pm The Danish Girl (2015) - set in Copenhagen in 1926. Danish artist, Gerda Wegener, painted her own husband, Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne), as a lady in her painting. When the painting gained popularity, Einar started to change his appearance into a female appearance and named himself Lili Elbe.


Pilton Cinema will be closed for the holidays so the staff can have a well-earned rest.
Friday 30th September at 7.45pm This film will be announced as soon as we have chosen it! Watch this space!

For trailers for the May and June films visit the Pilton Cinema Trailers page.


Why not help us and yourself with a

Cinema Supporters Card

Supporter's CardFor regular Cinema Supporters, there’s a really good deal the

Cinema Supporter's Card

only £30 for

12 films in

12 months


As well as saving you money, buying this will help us with securing the finances of Pilton Cinema. Please ask at a showing or contact us for an application form.


And the feature films you have recently missed!


'Suffragette' (April)


A drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality - their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. Maud was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart-breaking and inspirational.

Synopsis by Production


'Captain Phillips' (March)

Captain PhillipsCaptain Phillips is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is - through director Paul Greengrass's distinctive lens - simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama's commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips' unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.

Sony Pictures Entertainment



For a list of films shown see Previous Films page.


How Pilton Cinema came about

Filmbank LogoPilton Cinema has brought to reality the idea of Pip Cartmell, more years ago than she can remember, of a Community Cinema in the heart of Pilton. A grant from Awards for All towards the projector, plus contributions from the Big Pilton Quiz, the Discos and Bingo held in the Hall plus money from Pilton Church Hall Committee helped bring her idea to fruition in 2012. Pilton Cinema is fully licensed by Filmbank to screen films which costs £99/film, hence the need to charge for entry.

The Pilton Cinema is normally a 'last Friday of the month' event with films of many different genres including comedy, drama, silent, thriller, musical, foreign language and more - see Forthcoming Attractions. We are going to break that rule at Christmas this year when we move the film Walt Disney film 'Frozen' from Friday evening to Saturday afternoon because Friday is Boxing Day. We hope you don't mind!

If you want to know what else you have already missed, see Previous Films. We want to satisfy the interests of as many as possible of the 5,000 people who live in the village and a few more besides. Please feedback your ideas and tell us what you would like to see by going to our Feedback form. Contact us through the Contact page if you would like us to send you an email reminder.

And if you would like to find out more about films and the film industry follow this link to the icons of a number of organisations on the Links Page of the website.

Pilton Church Hall can seat 100 people who will be able to watch a cinema quality projection in comfort.


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