What is a “Community Cinema” ?
“Cinema for All” – which is part of the British Federation of Film Societies (BFFS) has a very clear definition :
“A community cinema is any volunteer-led and non-profit organisation that shows films in its community. This includes film societies and clubs; pop-up cinemas; school film clubs; college and university student cinemas; screenings in village halls, arts centres, local cinemas, youth and community centres; mobile cinemas and local film festivals.“
The most important words are “community”, “volunteer” and “non-profit”. We exist to serve our community here in Billericay. We have no shareholders. No one takes a penny out of the group and any excess money is re-invested into the cinema. For example, we use money from the “Film Thursday” shows to subsidise the cost of the “Family Sunday” viewings.
Cinema for All then goes on to describe some of the key attributes and benefits of a true Community Cinema. We aspire to succeed in each of these areas :
Community cinemas are run by audiences for audiences, and give Communities the power to choose the films that they want to see, when they want to see them.
Community cinemas specialise in providing a warm and friendly atmosphere, in which every audience member can feel welcomed and secure.
Community cinemas are the social heart of their community, providing opportunities to discuss and debate film and create connections between people who might otherwise be isolated.
Community cinemas take films seriously, offering audiences varied and adventurous programming, bringing world cinema, classics and the very best new releases to audiences across the country, as well as short films, documentaries, animations and archive footage.
Community cinemas are hugely diverse – both in terms of where they are and what they show. Some operate cities and towns where films are readily available, whilst others are in rural areas where a local film society might be the only form of cinema provision. Both types programme provide an enjoyable communal atmosphere and develop the viewing experience with special seasons, discussions and social events.
That’s what Cinema for All say; that’s what we aspire to – but what do you think ? Do email us your thoughts to info@BillericayCine.com . We’d love to hear from you !