Growth in community cinemas

Twynholm cinema
Twynholm cinema

New inititative to promote community cinemas

Driftwood Cinema, based in Wigtown, is pleased to be a founder member of the new Community Screen Forum, a UK-wide grouping which has been brought together by the Film Studies Department of the University of East Anglia to help with publicity.

Matt Kitson, a director of Driftwood Cinema explans: “Cinema is the most accessible and popular form of ticketed cultural experience in the UK. The enduring appeal of the big screen experience is evidenced in the major growth in community cinema venues and audiences in recent decades. Beyond just screening films, community cinemas function as important sites of social value, and this has enabled them to flourish despite the increasing personalisation of media technologies and fragmentation of viewing.

“Community cinemas generate important opportunities for local residents to come together. They foster and empower networks of people through the activities of both managing and attending screening events. Evidence shows that one of the greatest areas of positive impact is for marginalised people –e.g. those on low incomes, rurally isolated or with long-term health issues and their carers.

“Dumfries and Galloway has seen a growth in the number of community cinemas over the past few years. Supported by Driftwood Cinema, Indy Cinema, Regional Screen Scotland and Cinema for All, we now have 15 Community Cinemas run by volunteers spread across the county from Port Logan in the west to Eskdalemuir in the East. Most operate from September to April, providing an opportunity for communities to come together right on their doorstep and see a range of films, new, old, independent, foreign language and documentaries. Some communities are also now showing encore screenings of West End and Broadway theatrical performances.

“Driftwood Cinema are working with the Robert Burns Centre, DGArts and Regional Screen Scotland to support community and independent cinemas across Dumfries and Galloway and have this week released a survey to encourage more communities to consider running their own local cinema.”