Laugh-in for Stan and Ollie fans

Laurel and Hardy in the short film Dirty Work
Laurel and Hardy in the short film Dirty Work

LAUREL and Hardy film nights at the Rex Cinema, Elland, have become a ‘must’ for all film and comedy fans over the past few years.

The overwhelming enthusiasm of audiences has guaranteed that the fun film nights have become a fixture on the Rex’s annual programme. This year’s Laurel and Hardy night is on Saturday, March 31 at 7.30pm.

On the bill are the feature film ‘Way Out West’ and three shorts - or ‘two reelers’ - ‘Below Zero’, ‘Chickens Come Home’ and ‘Going Bye Bye’. Rex proprietor Charles Morris said: “Our Laurel and Hardy nights have maintained their popularity ever since our first one in 1994.

“In the last two or three years there has been so much enthusiasm that we have decided to hold them annually.

“We get members of Laurel and Hardy ‘tents’, as the fan club is known, coming from far away and some dress up in all their regalia.”

The prolific comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made more than 70 20-minute ‘two reelers’ and 26 feature films between 1926 (when films were still silent) and 1952, when their final film ‘Atoll K’ was released.

They were the screen’s most enduring comedy duo and the films selected for this year’s show represent the period between 1930 and 1937 when they were at the peak of their career.

According to Mr Morris, ‘Way Out West’ is without doubt the funniest and most popular of the feature films they made and contains the famous song ‘The Blue Ridged Mountains of Virginia’.

He said: “We also hope to have some Laurel and Hardy memorabilia stalls, as in previous years, and our resident organist Mildred Sutcliffe will be providing the music.

“More than anything, though, it is the atmosphere of 300 people laughing in unison at the antics of these two clowns which really makes the night. We get people of all ages coming - it is really quite an experience.”

Tickets for the Laurel and Hardy night are £5 and booking in advance is recommended though there may be some tickets on the box office on the night, depending on availability. For more information contact 01422 372140.