The fine volunteers at Deptford Cinema have launched a new Kickstarter campaign to fund a full rewiring of the venue, extending access to their unique brand of award-winning community cinema. Here’s how you can help.
By RADIANT CIRCUS
In 2014, a group of community-minded film fans came together to transform a dusty old shop into a new venue for cinema and arts in Deptford. There had previously been no dedicated cinema for the Borough of Lewisham – today, Deptford Cinema is an award-winning enterprise that plays a vital role in the cultural life of South East London.
Over the past five years, the cinema has gone from strength to strength, welcoming audiences to a fantastic array of film screenings, Q&As, art performances and more. Punching well above their 40-seat weight, the venue enjoys the patronage of legendary Czech animator Jan Svankmajer and Troma’s deviant master, Lloyd Kaufman and has been supported by Glenda Jackson and Sue Perkins.
If you haven’t been there, you might not know from its public profile and extensive programme that Deptford Cinema is run entirely by volunteers. As a non-hierarchical community project, every decision is made in an open, participatory structure by the community. If you’re keen to get involved, there’s an open door session every Sunday morning where a warm welcome is always guaranteed.
Following five years of growth, the venue is now launching its Electric Extravaganza, a programme of works and rewiring that will put the finishing touches to the building. The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign has a fundraising goal of £15,000.
Louis Holder tells us: “The electric upgrade is essential to make our venue more accessible so that more people can enjoy events at Deptford Cinema. We want to bring live-streamed events to Lewisham for the first time at an affordable price. We also want to improve the sound and lighting in the cinema and gallery so that we can run a more varied range of screenings and exhibitions.”
In other parts of their plans, hearing loops will be installed in the cinema and cafe-bar as part of a drive towards increasing accessibility throughout the building. Along the same lines, improved ambient lighting in the cinema will enable regular events with soft lighting requirements, such as relaxed and family friendly screenings.
As if the joy of extending community cinema for all isn’t enough on its own, Louis explains there’s a number of juicy rewards for anyone who backs their campaign: “Funders of our campaign can receive rewards such as big screen credits, bags of film-related gifts, invitation to a thank you party, limited edition prints and even a private party and screening for themselves and 39 friends. There is also the option to sponsor a cinema seat, our office and backroom and even one of our thrones!”
Looking ahead, Deptford Cinema will celebrate its 5-year anniversary in September with a special programme of spectacular screenings, live music events and film-themed parties. We know you want to help them get there in some style. Here’s how:
DEPTFORD CINEMA’S ‘ELECTRIC EXTRAVAGANZA’
The Deptford Cinema Kickstarter Campaign page has all the in-depth details about the work they want to undertake, the rewards they’ll be presenting to backers and much much more.
RADIANT CIRCUS VIEW: It might be small with only 40 seats but its programme is perfectly formed. The “community cinema for Lewisham” always features on our lists for its strong commitment to world cinema (highlights include the cinemas of Korea and Latin America) and nimble thematic strands that bring its programme to life with regular flourishes of wit (their Alternative Royal Wedding was a 2018 favourite…). How community cinema should be done.
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*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version. Event dates/times are subject to change by the venue/organiser. We try to only list events you can book for at the time of posting: however, some events may still be sold out. Please click quickly! We don’t filter by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should be 18+.