Rita Coolidge, famous country, jazz and rock singer, tells us about her favourite cinema and the genre of film that she can’t stand

Rita Coolidge: "My favourite cinema is the Edwards Temecula Stadium

Having only just moved to Tallahassee, FL – where I’m so new in town that I’m still waiting for my removals truck – I guess my favourite cinema would have to be the Edwards (now Regal) Theatre in Temecula, CA. I’ve been going there right up until now, in fact.

Why I love it

It’s actually a great theatre complex connected to the most wonderful shopping mall, which has just grown and grown. So that it now has so many wonderful stores, restaurants and amenities. I’m from a much smaller town. So going to Temecula is like driving to L.A. itself, only that much closer.

Occasionally, I’ll go see a couple of movies back-to-back because films can sometimes be disappointing. Actually, nothing drives me away faster than gratuitous violence; or should the film become so  boring that you can’t bear it any longer and have to leave. I’ve found the Edwards theatre to have such a good and varied selection across its screens so as not to leave me disappointed.

The best films I’ve ever seen

Most recently, I saw The Shape of Water. I liked it very much as I’m a big Sally Hawkins fan. But I felt the violence to be unnecessary for such an otherwise beautiful picture. Maybe the director was trying to include so many elements: the monster, romance, the FBI agents etc, although, overall, it was entertaining… I just wished the monster had had big brown eyes!

I did go to see Avatar at an IMAX over in Cat[hedral] City, in Palm Springs. Because of the huge screen and enveloping sound, it was such a fantastically over-the-top, even life-altering, experience, and so much so that, on my way out, I’d felt like I’d been in that movie.

But I think my all-time favourite movie really would have to be To Kill a Mocking Bird, with Gregory Peck.
It reminded me so much of my childhood – my father also having been a civil rights activist. Moreover the little girl, Scout, could so very easily have been me. I also particularly liked that the screenplay was kept as faithful as possible to Harper Lee’s book.

Rita Coolidge couldn’t ever think about eating in a cinema…

I know some cinemas you can go to for fine-dining, these days, and no doubt this will be the case in Tallahassee, too. It’s an interesting concept. But I’m just not sure I’d be able to do it all in one go because I have enough trouble getting through a bag of popcorn watching a film!

I don’t care much at all for Super Hero action movies or those with multiple explosions and effects. In fact, I don’t even have any friends that like films such as Transformers, anyway – but prefer, instead, films that speak to my heart [including some rom-coms also], so that you’re left feeling good and uplifted by the time they’re finished and you’re ready to leave. And when that happens, I can’t wait to own them on DVD . So I watch several times over because, to me, that’s the measure of a good movie.

Don’t ask me to use my mobile!

While I don’t think I’d ever watch a movie on a phone or iPad. If it’s any good I’d still be happy to see it on a small flat-screen – which I may have to do for a bit while settling into Florida.

I’m absolutely certain the cinemas here will be hospitable, as things do seem to be more in the South, anyway, where people, in that lovely southern lilt of theirs, tend to go the extra mile to make sure you’ve got everything you need. I’m looking forward to going again… that is, if my removals truck ever arrives.