How to start a cinema is a guide for anyone who is interested in starting a cinema or showing films in their village, town or city in the UK. You may not know what you need to know but this guide aims to cover it all. It goes through all of the aspects you need to consider from suitable buildings to technical considerations, to costs, programming, marketing, staffing and finding an audience.
It also includes a number of case studies, from very large to very small venues, where you can hear the personal experiences, tips and insights of people who have actually done it. It may sound complicated but this aims to be a comprehensive guide to everything you need to consider with a series of easy-to-use chapter headings and summaries for each section.
Foreword by director Michael Winterbottom
One of the UK's top filmmakers gives a rousing call to arms for more independent cinemas and why they matter
This chapter looks at some of the fundamental choices you will have to make about your cinema before you start to raise funds or think about the programme.
The hard work begins. The proper planning of a cinema can take months, even years, and like any other business, involves a range of tried and tested planning tools explained here.
The key to making a cinema successful is having a strong feel for the range of audiences that it might attract: who are they, what do they want to see and how do you communicate with them?
Organisation and constitution
There are different organisational structures that a cinema can adopt according to its purpose. This chapter provides a run through of the most common models.
Local cinemas come in all shapes and sizes, in converted old buildings, new purpose built designs or re-claimed former cinemas. This chapter explores the plethora of ownership, licensing and regulatory issues which relate to managing a venue.
For audiences, the style and design of a cinema can be as important as the programme in making a cinema visit an unforgettable experience. Cinema has very specific design requirements and getting these right is an essential part of developing a facility that audiences will enjoy.
Technical and Equipment Issues
What are technical choices open to new cinema organisers, and how do these determine what you can show in your cinema?
What are the key elements of your capital funds and how do you set about raising the money?
The economics of the operation
What are the key income streams and costs that need to be managed effectively to make a cinema viable?
From understanding film classification, to running a successful marketing campaign, there are a host of basic operational matters that local cinemas have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.