Open Cinema



Open Cinema offers structured engagement for a range of participant groups through film-related activities. Our partner organisations benefit from belonging to a nationwide community of best practice and innovation. Open Cinema can raise an agency’s external profile and internal sense of achievement, though hosting a professional cultural service with regular visits from distinguished experts in the film and other industries.

"You need a bit of laughter and comedy in your life. People get down in the dumps and this cheers you up. It's a good meeting point. Some people come here because they have no where else to go"


Our Theory of Change is to use community cinema to enable any individual or community to move from exclusion to participation. The model is designed to develop a range of life skills amongst participants, increasing confidence, cultural and linguistic literacy, a sense of purpose and aptitude towards engagement in further activities and services.

Participation in our community cinemas has been proven to increase both engagement and the development of skills, with resulting gains in employability and access to education. We measure our impact, on which reports can be found on our Impact page.


There are many benefits of working with Open Cinema in delivering an exciting and engaging film service to your clients. This includes:
  • Assistance with equipment and setting up a cinema at a reduced rate
  • Full season of up to 12 films on DVD or Blu-ray
  • Screening Licenses registered and delivered annually, covering all films for 1 year
  • Professionally designed & printed flyers and posters for promotion to your audiences
  • Co-created season programming, with access to previous seasons
  • Arrangement of guest speakers through our extensive contacts and support in the film and other industries
  • An Open Cinema Coordinator to facilitate screenings and community development
  • Trained volunteers (if required) to assist the Coordinator
  • Access to special events at major venues, and to projects across the international Open Cinema network


Open Cinema screenings are designed to be immersive cinema experiences, so it's important to maintain a high standard of quality across our network. AS we work with you towards your launch, we will introduce you to the fundamentals of what qualifies a venue as an Open Cinema. To be part of the Open Cinema network, you must be able to provide the following:

  • A space in your building which can accommodate audiences, incorporating a screen or a wall that can be projected onto (the larger the better)
  • Funds to support the procurement and installation of the projection and sound equipment - which belong to you and can be used for any purpose
  • Funding to maintain, at your chosen level, membership of Open Cinema.

We understand that there may be some organisations that would like to get started, but lack funding or equipment to meet these requirements. Open Cinema can help your organisation to raise funds or procure equipment, by developing funding bids, in which we have a long record of success. This is in part because working with Open Cinema, and its proven model of social impact, will help give funders the confidence to make funding awards.

Please fee free to contact us for more details.


Before you launch, Open Cinema will help you procure and install high definition screening equipment – negotiated at preferential rates with our partners – which will be tailored to fit the communal space selected for the cinema.

Before the start of each new season, you will be offered a shortlist of Cinema Coordinators, selected through our recruitment process, to lead the launch season and liase between yourselves and Open Cinema. We will deliver to you a pack containing everything you need for the coming season including professionally designed flyers & posters, DVDs or Blu-rays, film exhibition licenses, and invitations to special guests to introduce films during the season.

"I'm very pleased to support Open Cinema. It is a very good idea to offer films to those who are maybe having a hard time."

– Ken Loach (Director: Cathy Come Home, The Wind That Shakes the Barley)

Finally you simply need to select the scheduling for the screenings to suit your arrangements. Open Cinema can help find and train volunteers, generally with media and voluntary experience, from local networks. With all this, you're ready to send out invites to your launch event.

For more information about how your organisation can launch an Open Cinema, please contact us.