X Ticketlab uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience from our website. Check out our cookie policy for more info.

TicketLab Login

The Cinema Museum

Sunday 22nd January 2023, 4:00pm - 7:45pm

Doors open: 3:00pm

Price: £12.00
(£12.80 including booking fee)

Not on sale

Questions about this event?

You can message the event organiser here

About Film: The Vito Project LGBTQ+ Film Club presents Disney Double Bill

Join the The Vito Project LGBTQ+ Club for a loving tribute to the life and work of legendary gay composer Howard Ashman. Taking inspiration from sources such as musical theatre and the eccentric personality of drag queen legend Divine, Ashman brought sophistication and a true queer sensibility to these cherished classics.

About the films:
The Little Mermaid (1989): Rebellious 16-year-old mermaid Ariel (Jodi Benson) is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula (Pat Carroll) to become human for three days. But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, the king must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter.

Beauty and the Beast (1991): An arrogant young prince (Robby Benson) and his castle’s servants fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress, who turns him into the hideous Beast until he learns to love and be loved in return. The spirited, headstrong village girl Belle (Paige O’Hara) enters the Beast’s castle after he imprisons her father Maurice (Rex Everhart). With the help of his enchanted servants, including the matronly Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury), Belle begins to draw the cold-hearted Beast out of his isolation.

Why you can’t miss it:
With a talent for storytelling comparable to that of Walt Disney himself, Howard Ashman and his creative partner Alan Menken were essential components in the Disney animation renaissance of the late 80s/early 90s. By embracing his love of musical theatre and classic Disney animation, Ashman helped bring a sense of grandeur and spectacle back to animation, all while embracing a very modern sensibility rooted in timeless themes.

An openly gay man in a time of intense homophobia, Ashman instilled much of his own experience and sense of queerness into his work. That is evident in the character of Ursula, the flamboyant villain in The Little Mermaid, whose camp over-the-top personality was inspired by Divine, the drag queen famous for roles in John Waters movies such as Female Trouble (1974) and Hairspray (1988). Ashman gave her an equally larger-than-life musical number – the unforgettable “Poor Unfortunate Souls”.

As Howard Ashman was battling the final stages of HIV/AIDS during the production of Beauty and the Beast, he infused his song writing with much of that agony and angst. As a mob of villagers storm the castle to “kill the Beast”, they chant in unison about how they “don’t like what they don’t understand” – an allegory to the AIDS crisis and the impact it had on the LGBTQ+ community. Unfortunately, Ashman wouldn’t live to see the completed version of Beauty and the Beast and how it was embraced by the world, becoming a global box office phenomenon and the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. He would receive a posthumous Oscar for his work on the film, and the film closes with a dedication to Ashman: “To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful.”

Beauty and the Beast is presented from a 35mm print. The Little Mermaid is a digital presentation.

The total programme length is around 4 hours, and will be preceded by an introduction and followed by a discussion.

Doors open at 15.00, for a 16.00 start. The Little Mermaid will screen first, and Beauty and the Beast will screen at 18.00.

Refreshments will be available in our licensed cafe/bar.


The Cinema Museum

2 Dugard Way,
Renfrew Road,
SE11 4TH


Log in or Sign up


Forgotten your password?