Category Archives: Small Cinema Events

Film Confirmation – Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain

Working on A Small Cinema you can come up against unforeseen challenges. For this project obtaining screening rights for our shortlist of Hong Kong classics proved especially difficult but after several long distance phone calls and email exchanges we can finally confirm tha our main feature for our Chinatown event will be Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain (新蜀山剑侠).

The film follows Chinese soldiers in an ancient civil war who get caught up in a fantastical quest to save the universe. There quest unfolds with pioneering visual effects and lightening fast action sequences.

We are really delighted to confirm this feature as it had topped our shortlist. It was also fondly remembered by many of the people we approached throughout our research.

We are really looking forward to the 29th and hope you are as excited as we are.


Grand Opening! Rotherham

The Grand Opening of A Small Cinema in Rotherham took place on the 21st April 2011 at the Old Market Gallery, and was attended by the Mayor of Rotherham.

A full set of the photos is viewable here on our Flickr page:

What makes “A Successful Small Cinema?”

Well, the bow-ties are off and the posters are taken down and now we are asking the question: What makes “A Successful Small Cinema”?

We held an evaluation meeting for “A Small Cinema in Kirkby” in our studio over in Liverpool and discussed the many the many different aspects out of which the most recent project – “A Small Cinema in Kirkby” – has been shaped.  Behind the many bespoke details there are some key components which go into making this kind of “A Small Cinema” project successful and we boiled these down to five essential elements:

  1. transformation of a space (eg empty shop) into a bespoke cinema (this includes details like a cinema screen, tickets, promotional posters, seats, curtains etc.)
  2. the commissioning of at least one new, locally or thematically relevant, short film
  3. screening of archival film footage and material sourced directly from filmmakers
  4. conducting research into peoples memories of cinema and creatively manifesting these memories within the overall event (e.g. as posters, within brochure, photographs etc.)
  5. staging of cinema screening event (requires promotion, volunteer ushers, popcorn, tickets, trailers etc.)

Kirkby: Your Enthusiasm

Documentary filmmaker Tim Brunsden produced this short piece which gives an insight into how “A Small Cinema in Kirkby” was able to happen:

A Big Thank You from A Small Cinema

This is a simple message to say thankyou to everybody who worked to make this project such a resounding success… and there certainly were a lot of people involved: audiences, visitors, filmmakers, artists, archivists, technicians, volunteers, project team, commissioners – we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

“A Small Cinema in Kirkby” took place over the last weekend of January and if you had a chance to pop along you’ll have experienced two jam-packed days of short film screenings happening inside a disused shop in Kirkby Town Centre. Our magical cinema has since disappeared from view but while it was there, and in the build up to the event, it generated a great deal of interest amongst shoppers, traders and passers-by – it even popped up on the news!

An extra special thank you must go to our team of volunteer ushers for the weekend who worked tirelessly taking tickets, serving popcorn and making sure that no-one bunked in!

Thank You:
Jo Dry, Alison Riley, Dave Wycherly, Rob Jones and all the team at Knowsley Arts and Heritage Service
Kayleigh Hayes and everyone at 1st Class ABC
Steve Myers – Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Pingwood Arts Group (Ebony Way)
Mark Bingley, Adele Nesbitt and the stall holders at Kirkby Market
North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University
Claire & Sarah White and Emily Peters
Danny O’Shea
Hannah Pierce
Laura Pullig
Mike Wintle and Tesco Kirkby
Rob O’Brien & Lin Rice at Knowsley Archive, Kirkby Library
Space to Create
Arts Council England

Small Cinema on the Small Screen

Today, as we made final preparations for “A Small Cinema in Kirkby”, we had an impromptu visit from Paul Crone and the Granada Reports team.  Sam spoke to them about the programme of films we’re going to be showing Saturday and Sunday including matinee screenings of classic cartoons for children (at 11, 12 and 1pm) followed by rarely seen archive footage of Kirkby (on loan from the North West Film Archive) and a brand new independent short film commission “Fighting Chance” (on both afternoons at 2pm and 3.30).

It was down to John then to describe the background to the project – transforming an empty shop space into a cinema, the power of cinema in people’s memories, the discussions we’ve been having with local traders, and the role of Knowsley Arts and Heritage in making all it possible.

They filmed the inside our beautiful cinema and we gave them a special advance preview of “Fighting Chance” – a brand new independent short film by Tim Brunsden, specially commissioned for “A Small Cinema in Kirkby.”  The film, which has it’s premiere tomorrow at 2pm, tells the story of local dancer-turned-boxer Kayleigh Hayes whose progress in the sport of Women’s Amateur Boxing during the past two years has been meteoric.  It was a great experience for Kayleigh today – to have a taste of the media spotlight!

It’s a knock-out! – boxer Kayleigh Hayes and Paul Crone from Granada reports after their interview.

And finally…

The reporters also spoke with Billy and Cliff from Pingwood Art Group whose exhibition “Memories of Cinema” opens tomorrow at “A Small Cinema in Kirkby” too.

We’re very excited now – the report goes out this evening at 6pm on Granada News but don’t believe the hype – come down tomorrow and Sunday and experience it for yourself!

***Update: click to watch the Granada Reports broadcast***

“A Small Cinema in Kirkby” – Old Maze Shop, Unit 24 St. Chad’s Parade, Kirkby Shopping Centre.

getting the word out in Kirkby…

With “A Small Cinema in Kirkby” fast approaching (next weekend 29th and 30th Jan)  we thought that it was important to get the word out on the street.  This Saturday we opened the shop up to the public so that people could see the transformation.  We also asked lots of local shops to display our poster and we handed out our gorgeous Small Cinema brochures to passers-by.

We were really glad that we decided to do this because we spoke to literally hundreds of shoppers, families and elderly people who hadn’t previously been sure what the event was about.

One couple that we met had a very special connection to filmmaking in Kirkby.  Bruce and Dorothy Scott (pictured above) told us about their own experience when acclaimed filmmaker Nick Broomfield (then a student at the National Film and Television School) came and stayed with them when he was making the documentary “Behind the Rent Strike“.

So – the scene is set for “A Small Cinema in Kirkby” – it is going to be very special – we look forward to seeing you there!