Firstly, the building is magnificent. And the opportunity to wander around indoors free from the school holiday bustle is irresistible. Next, there's a selection of food and drink, and though the queues eventually look punishing, we soon have our cinematic accompaniment of pop, popcorn and prosecco. A host of bean-bags (which encourage an almost horizontal viewing position) and deckchairs are laid out across the lawn, and several of the audience have brought their own camping chairs. Merriment is abroad in the atmosphere - being so at the mercy of the elements, it could've gone so wrong, but in the end, we find ourselves under a blanket of stars.
After a nicely judged funk-house-rock mix and plenty of time to find consumables and a seat, there's not much of a fanfare before our titles roll. It's a fine digital projection, showing every scale, every bit of glinting saliva and every inch of Jeff Goldblum's needlessly naked chest, and unlike some other Cult Screens events, we're without headphones. Fortunately, the sound is impressive - that it can transmit hushed dialogue as well as orchestral explosions of terror, and do so without shaking foundations of nearby buildings, is notable.
As fun as the feature is and as unique the experience, Cult Screens maybe doesn't target cinema purists. A new film or an arthouse gem isn't ideally served in this environment - despite the name, a cult film wouldn't fare as well here as one in which we all know the twists, can chuckle at the meme-worthy moments, and take a second to study the starry canopy above us. So all bound up in this atmosphere is some heckling (comedy screams from the audience when a T-Rex appears), traffic (up to twenty crew trucks zoomed by us, having finished their day's work on Mamma Mia 2) and technical wobbles (the digital projection froze midway, leaving us with a grinning family tableau of Laura Dern, Sam Neill and a baby 'raptor popping out of an egg).
The animatronic effects stand up really well 24 years on, as do some pulse-quickening set pieces, the positioning of Richard Attenborough's DNA-splicing tycoon as a Wizard of Oz figure, and Goldblum's freestyle diction. But despite being populated by (supposedly) all-female dinosaurs, this is basically an alpha-dude specimen of the B-movie, with some nastiness in the scenes of sweet children in peril, and a moment when a cameraperson forgets to show us the scenery while ogling Dern. A trip to dictionary corner, then: the term 'dinosaur' means 'terrible lizard', and as we are shown the beasts in all their tame and voracious variety, it reminds us that 'terrible' until recently meant something that inspires both dread and awe. Don't be taken in by my grouchy tone - there's awe in the spectacle yet.