Library Cinema's

Library Cinema's

1st Aug 2012
Locality has been working with Open Cinema to pilot the concept of a cinema-in-a-library, where any community can programme films which develop its interests, meet filmmakers and experts behind the films, and make films of their own. All of which powers the community and the library.
Library Cinema's

We are keen to work with the network to explore this concept further, and have already supported one member "Fresh Horizons" to secure funding from the Libraries Development Initiative Fund to trial this work.

By working with the network, Open Cinema and Locality aim to:

  • Offer access to the world’s best entertainment and knowledge, for the whole community
  • Provide a platform for connecting expertise with need, improving educational and employment outcomes
  • Enhance the financial and social sustainability of libraries


Open Cinema will work with communities and local authorities to build cinema into the facilities offered by their libraries. Requirements and content of a typical programme are:

Space: A typical library will allocate a room which can be used for film screenings, while used for other activities for the rest of the week.

Equipment: Approximately £2-3000 is required for equipment and modifications, which Open Cinema will help to procure and install.

Licensing: Licences will be acquired from the two main rights management agencies, covering films from all the major Hollywood studios and independent distributors.

Cinema team: Open Cinema will recruit and train a Coordinator and a team of Volunteers, from within the library staff, the community, or the surrounding film community.

Programming: 12-week film seasons exploring themes, genres, local or current affairs suggested by the community are co-curated by themselves and the Open Cinema team. This includes a short film to accompany each feature film.

Special Guests: Open Cinema invites high-level guests from the film industry, and from any field explored by the films. We aim to have 3-4 prominent guests per 12-week season, and make it easy for cinema teams to make invitations of their own.

Marketing: High-quality materials to advertise the seasons are made available in four hard-copy formats, in a dedicated web-page online and on the library’s own website.

Filmmaking: Open Cinema runs a flourishing filmmaking programme, which enables communities to make a high-quality short film with support from a professional filmmaker. These would be developed and run alongside the screenings.

Distribution: Resulting films are submitted to major film festivals and television channels, and have been seen at BAFTA, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and on Channel 4.

Further innovation: We are developing a News Production kit with CNN, a ‘micro-university’ learning platform with the Open University, and respond to and make available great ideas from any of the community cinemas.

The results of the cinema can be seen in increased participation, wellbeing, and access to further courses and work. We look forward to helping build your community cinema.