Updated: Oct 24
With big love and solidarity to all cinema workers, we were saddened (though sadly not surprised) to read the findings from the Independent Cinema Office's report last week.
The challenges faced by the sector - summarised below from 157 surveys submitted – are very real, and as a charity that works closely with 20+ venues in 16 cities we know how tough it is right now and the distressing impact it’s having on our partners and colleagues across the UK.
It should come as a blow to us all that 42% of venues said they can only continue to operate within the current climate for between three months to a year, especially when the UK has already lost multiple independent cinemas in the past year.
(Re)building audiences for cultural cinema requires a careful combination of person-centred audience development work and risk taking, both of which require subsidy. We fully back the recommendations of the 50% of respondents who said they need further public/government financial support, through organisational grants and a reduction in Sales VAT.
At Reclaim The Frame we take this report to be a start reminder of the importance of, and responsibility for, our collaborations in working with partner venues on two of their top priorities: increasing audiences and engaging new audiences. 45% of Reclaim The Frame attendees are stepping foot in the venue for the first time, and fostering a sense of community, and encouraging collective watching are a core part of the work.
Big thanks as always to our friends at ICO for their leadership, and to all of us in the sector let this be a call to action for us to rally support for our local indie cinemas.