Community cinemas are run on a 'not-for-profit' basis by volunteers. No money is paid out in salaries; any profits are reinvested back into the cinema or used to support local charities and community groups. There are over 1,500 community cinemas around the UK - in smaller towns and villages through to the big cities. They vary hugely in size seating anywhere from 20 to 500 people, in the types of films they show and in how they run their cinemas. Some will focus purely on art house films, others on recent blockbusters; some include an interval; some offer refreshments; some have memberships whilst others just sell tickets. It's up to the volunteers - and their knowledge of their own community - what their cinema does! For us all three words in our title are important, but none more so than "community". We show a wide range of films - some old, some new and while we enjoy the films it's the "buzz" that's created that we really enjoy. Community cinemas near to Billericay include ones in Chelmsford, Brentwood and Malden.
Yes - usually! Some films don't cover their costs - but most do. It depends on a number of different variables, the most important of which is the number of tickets sold - but the cost of the film license (they can differ) and whether we have external cost (for example a professional piano accompanist at our silent movie night) also contribute. Our objective over the year is to make enough money to cover costs (for example public liability insurance, marketing such as leaflets or equipment wear and tear) and to invest in the growth of the cinema. This is one of the areas which differentiates us from mainstream multiplexes or commercial cinemas. Most shows do however generate more money than we spend. In the past we have made donations to local charity BOSP, the Billericay Foodbank, the Billericay Round Table, the Royal British Legion, Cinema for All and a Billericay student who was producing a film for her final university exam. We also support the Billericay Lions with their annual free film show For the past year we have been sponsoring the Billericay Good Companions Club. This club for older members of our community which meets twice a month and is particularly focused on those who are more socially isolated who don't perhaps get to meet many people. These meetings are wonderful ! The first hour is always some form of entertainment - a singer, a lecture, a group of musicians. In the second hour they have tea and a good old chin-wag !
Billericay Men’s Shed based in Lake Meadows, which aims to reduce loneliness and isolation in a fun and practical way
Hamelin Trust in Radford Crescent, who support those with learning disabilities and their families
Billericay Foodbank who provide weekly food to those who most need it.
We’re going to leave it up to our guests as to how the money is split. At the end of each show you can put a token in one of 3 containers, one for each of the groups. Any profits from that show will be apportioned according to the number of tokens received.
At the next show you get another token and you can either support the same charity or spread the love around!
Every 3 months we’ll announce how much has been raised and send the money on its way to each charity.
As of February 2023, Billericay Community Cinema has made financial donations totalling just over £3,200.
50/50/23In 2023, however, we have launched a new initiative: 50/50/23 During 2023 we’ll be donating 50% of any profits we make to local Billericay based charities. For the first 6 months these charities will be:
Volunteers are always welcome ! Our Volunteers come from all walks of life from young adults still at school to employed professionals and retirees. Some come to all shows, some are more occasional, some only come to Thursday shows, others to both Sunday and Thursday. The choice is yours. We get to the venue roughly 1 hour before the doors open and finish around 30 to 40 minutes after the film ends. During the setup phase we: - set out the chairs and tables - connect to the projection equipment - unpack two secure crates containing refreshments - organise the kitchen - and on Thursdays set up the bar. As our audience arrive the Welcome Desk checking tickets whilst other volunteers provide table service of refreshments, taking orders and payment. We have a dedicated Cash Desk who process all transactions, our kitchen team are making and serving drinks and refreshments - and we all muck in with the less glamorous tasks such as washing up ! After the film everything is in reverse, packing it all away ! The benefits of being a Volunteer (apart from the pleasure of giving back to our community !) are that we all get to watch the film for free - and there's no charge for any refreshments.
"Film Thursday" : Tickets are £5.00 "Sunday Matinee" afternoon showings are £4.00 Our aim is to give you a great evening or afternoon of entertainment - without breaking the bank! Refreshments are equally competitively priced. Our Thursday "special" cocktails are £3 mocktails £1.50. At Sunday matinees we have fresh, home baked cake at £1 and at both shows tea/coffee and hot chocolate are also £1. Other refreshments are available.
We show films twice a month. "Film Thursday" is primarily for adult audiences (although some may be suitable for younger people). "Sunday Matinee" shows are open to anyone, however, we particularly welcome those who might be on their own and fancy a little company. Whether alone or in a group you can be assured of a very friendly welcome. Upcoming events are on our website. You can also keep up to date with what's on with the following options :
- Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter . This has all the latest news along with details of tickets
- "Like" our Facebook page
- Follow us on Twitter @BillericayCine
All our shows feature refreshments which are available before the show and during our interval (which typically lasts 10 - 15 minutes).
"Sunday Matinee" is themed around "a cuppa, a slice of cake, a natter and a film". We have a variety of hot and cold soft drinks, a range of snacks and - importantly - freshly baked home made cake. It might be lemon drizzle, it might be chocolate, it might be ginger ....
"Film Thursday" has a range of hot and cold soft drinks and snacks but in addition is licensed. We sell locally brewed beers from the Billericay Brewing Company in nearby Chapel Street, wine and cider. In addition we always have a cocktail and a mocktail themed around the film.
It's a bit of a mix ! We produce a long list of films which is made up of films suggested by our audience and volunteers plus a few others that either look as if they would work for our audiences - or occasionally might challenge them ! The long list is culled and sorted into groups of films related by genre which are allocated to months in the schedule. This is to ensure that we get a good mix of films - so for example February might be a group of comedies, March might be musicals. The shortlist is then put out to the audience vote where they select one film from each group.
Please purchase your tickets from our website (BillericayCine.com) if you can - this is the easiest option for us from an administrative perspective. There are no booking charges; we absorb the card fees. If buying online isn't an option you can purchase tickets at any of our films or send a letter to: Billericay Community Cinema 29 The Meadow Way, Billericay, Essex, CM11 2HL Please include;
- A Cheque made payable to Billericay Community Cinema
- Which films you'd like tickets for, and how many tickets
- A stamped, addressed envelope for us to send the tickets
We operate out of the Billericay Town Council Chantry Centre. This is accessible from the High Street using the little road between the Chequers pub and Raven's Bakery, or from the top of Chantry Way. The address is: The Chantry Centre Chantry Way Billericay CM11 2AP Please note there is no general parking on site. There is limited "Blue Badge" parking, however. The nearest car parks are on the High Street (behind Iceland) and in the Waitrose car park. There is some on street parking at the top of Chantry Way (please park sensibly to respect local residents) and on the High Street.
Please note there is no general parking on site. There is limited "Blue Badge" parking, however. The nearest car parks are on the High Street (behind Iceland) and in the Waitrose car park. There is some on street parking at the top of Chantry Way (please park sensibly to respect local residents) and on the High Street.
Oh yes! This is one of the many little things which differentiates us from other cinemas and harks back to the "good old days" of British cinema! Each interval is roughly 10 to 15 minutes and provides an opportunity to stretch your legs, visit the facilities - or top up your refreshments with our table service!