How to Start a Community Cinema

If you’re a bit of a movie buff and if you wish you could go to the movies more often, why not start your own? By beginning a community cinema, you and everybody that you share a neighborhood with could head to the movies whenever you like! You’d be able to itch that scratch of yours to watch all the latest films when they come out, and you could make some new movie-buff friends.

Interested? If so, here’s what you need to do to start your own community cinema:

  1. Organize a crack team of experts

The first thing you need to do in your quest to start a community cinema is to surround yourself with a crack team of experts. This team should be comprised of people who are able to take the different responsibilities of movie booking, equipment sourcing, financing, and marketing on their shoulders. They don’t necessarily have to be professionals in these fields, but it will help if they are.

  1. Find the perfect venue

With your super squad now in place, it’s time for you and them to head out and check out some potential venues. The main points of interest on your list of places should be your local community center, any pubs or function rooms in the area, and any libraries that may be dotted around. Essentially, it should be a communal place that people know how to get to and that will be able to fit in a number of people at any one time.

  1. Run a test screening

Before you jump straight into getting your community cinema up and running, you should run a test screening with just a few people from your local area. This, of course, means that you will get your first taste of what it takes to set your cinema up. At this time, you’ll probably be quite surprised to realize that community cinemas can run with a very basic kit. All you really need is a DVD player, a projector, a big screen, and a working sound system. You don’t need to go all out because the people who visit your cinema won’t be expecting it to be full-blown, state-of-the-art operation.

After the test screening has taken place, you should get as much feedback as possible. You should ask whether the venue made for a comfortable viewing environment and whether or not they would be interested in actually paying for a screening in the future.

  1. Book in your screening dates

If you garner a positive response from your beta test, then your next goal is to book in your first screening dates. It is common practice for community cinemas to run one or two screenings per month, but it is entirely up to you how, when and why you choose your dates.

A good piece of advice is to look out for any special movie events that you can tie your screenings into. For instance, if the anniversary of a particularly favorite film’s release is coming up, you could play that film on the date.

  1. Sort out the finances

After all the fun of running your cinema’s beta test and getting your first screening dates booked in, it’s time to come back down to earth and get on with some far more tedious and challenging tasks.

The first of these tasks is to sort out the finances. First and foremost, you and the financial expert you have enlisted to help you should work out how much the cinema is going to cost to run initially. In this instance, you should take venue hire into account, you should sort out different necessary licenses (both in regards to your venue and film booking), you should consider the cost of movie booking, and you should work out how much you can afford to spend on equipment.

If you can’t afford to cover any upfront costs at first, and if your beta test has given you the confidence you need to know that your venture is going to be a financially lucrative one in the long run, then there’s nothing wrong with borrowing a sum of money. Regardless of your personal financial state of affairs, even if you have bad credit or prepaid debit, you can still make use of prepaid card loans at Bonsai Finance. It means nothing has to stand in the way of you getting the money you need to get your community cinema off the ground. Another route you could take involves organizing a fundraising event. By doing this, you would also garner some much-needed attention for your cinema and actually let the people in your local community know of its existence. Therefore, setting up a sponsorship event would very much end up being a win-win. Also, you could attempt to get funded by your local council. For you to stand any chance of being funded, you must have your budgets in hand as well as prospective financial figures for the future.

When it comes to the money that you charge at your cinema, you should be sure to be fair on all sides. After all, nobody deserves to have to spend a bucket load of cash on community events. At the same time, you should be fair on yourself by charging the prices on ticket sales and food that’ll see you at least break even on your spending.

  1. Always take advice

As a novice in the world of community cinema creation, you have to be willing to take advice throughout the duration of your venture from others that have done it before. If there is another community cinema running in a nearby town or village, ask the organizer of it for advice. By doing so, you will give yourself the best chance possible of avoiding any pitfalls that may seek to ruin your cinema before it even really gets going.

Cinema has the power to bring all sorts of people from all walks of life together. If that’s not enough to encourage you to start a community cinema, what is? By doing so, you could share your passion for movies and films with others and really bring back that neighborly spirit.

Put your movie-buff ways to good use by starting a community cinema in your local area!

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