Biggar Little Cinema

The Community Cinema at the Corn Exchange

All our proceeds go to local organisations and Rotary charities

As we are sure you know, The Corn Exchange remains closed because of the ongoing Covid-19 situation. The Trustees will be responding to Government advice as it develops, but it is expected that the closure will be for a considerable time yet.

Biggar Little Cinema would like to thank all our supporters for their patience and understanding during these unusual and difficult times. We await further news about the closure of The Corn Exchange, and we trust that we may be able to safely show films at some time later this year.

Movie Trivia

Readers of our Facebook page will know that we have been running an occasional series featuring movie trivia which we hope bring a little light relief. Here’s another addition to our collection of strange movie facts.

In the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, Ray Bolger was originally cast to play the role of Tin Man, despite his desire to play the Scarecrow. Buddy Ebsen was, at the time, cast as Scarecrow, and was convinced to swap roles with Bolger. While this pleased Bolger, it led to medical problems for Ebsen. The Tin Man's makeup originally contained aluminium powder which got into Ebsen's lungs, causing him to become extremely ill. He was rushed to a hospital and had to give up the role. The Tin Man's makeup was changed to a safer aluminium paste, and the role was finally played by actor Jack Haley. Ironically, Ebsen went on to outlive both Bolger and Haley.

But that's nothing compared to what happened to Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch. She suffered a second-degree burn on her face and a third-degree burn on her hand during a second take of her fiery exit from Munchkinland, in which the trap door's drop was delayed to eliminate the brief glimpse of it seen in the final edit. Hamilton had to recuperate in a hospital and at home for six weeks after the accident before returning to the set to complete her work on the film, and refused to have anything further to do with fire for the rest of the filming. After she recuperated, she said, "I won't sue, because I know how this business works, and I would never work again. I will return to work on one condition – no more fireworks!"

Bizarrely, Hamilton's stand-in and stunt double for the Witch, Betty Danko, also suffered an on-set accident. Standing-in for Hamilton, Danko made the fiery entrance to Munchkinland. She was severely burned during the 'Surrender Dorothy!' skywriting sequence at the Emerald City. Danko sat on a smoking pipe configured to look like the Witch's broomstick. The pipe exploded on the third take of the scene. She spent 11 days in the hospital and her legs were permanently scarred. The studio hired a new stunt double, Aline Goodwin, to finish the broomstick-riding scene for Danko.

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As a Community Cinema, we run on a non-profit basis and donate all our proceeds to local organisations and Rotary charities

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