Island Life Magazine Ltd October/November 2011 - Page 42

INTERVIEW Life through a lens Bob Ennis was just 10 years old when he bought his first film projector and used his garden shed as his ‘cinema’ to show school mates a short clip of film. Bob recently celebrated his 80th birthday, and throughout all those years his passion for the silver screen has never wavered. But at the same time he has kept fully in step with all the massive inventions and innovations that have changed the face of the film industry since he was a kid. His studio is full of memorabilia from days gon e by. But sitting 42 www.visitislandlife.com alongside it is all the latest state of the art equipment, underlining his determination not to just dwell on the past. Since moving to the Island in 1974 he has been responsible for discovering and reproducing historic clips that would have otherwise been lost forever. His amazing collection includes film of horse buses on Ventnor and Shanklin seafronts in 1906; the Cowes Regatta of 1914, and the first clip of the Isle of Wight railway system, shot in 1928. And recently archive film of the Freshwater line was also unearthed to add to the incredible collection. Bob is also a key player in the ever-popular Medina Movies, which screens ‘grown up films for grown up people’ – often very different from multiplex offerings – two seasons a year, which invariably attract a full house. Medina Movies, based at Newport’s Medina Theatre, has just started its 21st anniversary celebrations with films every Wednesday evening. Bob recalled: “It all started in 1941