Useful exhibitor resources

06 Technical and equipment

Information on technical bodies and organisations that loan and hire cinema equipment.

ICO technical resources

If you want to hold a non-theatrical screening but aren’t sure how to pull off a successful event, read our How to project films for beginners guide.

If you’re keen to open a theatrical venue, read Chapter 8: Technical and Equipment Issues (in our How to start a cinema guide) which offers in-depth information on all technical aspects of cinema screenings.

UK technical bodies

A number of technical bodies in the UK offer training and support to film exhibitors.

The International Moving Image Society (formerly BKSTS) a membership organisation for individuals employed in the technical areas of film, television, sound, or related industries. It offers members opportunities to learn the latest techniques through master classes, presentations, seminars, training courses and special events.

The Film and TV Charity (formerly the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund) is the leading UK charity for people working behind the scenes in the film, cinema and television industries, covering all aspects of film from pre-production to exhibition. The Film and TV Charity offers practical and financial assistance to those who have worked in a paid position within the industry in the UK for at least two years and who have been affected by illness, bereavement, accident or unemployment.


In addition to the above, there are a number of organisations who loan or hire cinema equipment.

  • Bell Theatre Services, one of the UK’s leading cinema equipment suppliers, offer high spec projection equipment for short term rentals including 35mm, 70mm, VistaVision, 2K, 4K and 3D systems and Dolby Sound Systems.
  • Cinema For All run an Equipment Hire Scheme open to community cinemas and film societies, with kit based in all regions of the UK. It offers short-term access to low-cost equipment and voluntary technical support. They also offer a downloadable equipment guide.
  • The Lost Picture Show a vintage travelling picture palace that provides indoor and outdoor event-based cinema. It’s also available for hire.
  • Lumen is an artistic audio visual organisation which offers equipment hire and projectionists specialising in complex, unconventional technical requirements (such as temporary installations in public spaces).
  • Proscreens offers projection equipment (including 16mm and 35mm) and screen hire for a wide range of events including mobile cinema and outdoor screenings.
  • Skylight Cinema specialises in the hire of mobile outdoor cinema equipment.

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