Following yesterday’s advice to Londoners to stop all non-essential social contact, many cinemas have closed and events postponed. This is putting enormous pressure on already fragile business models. We might have stopped listing but we will do what we can to support #LDNindieFILM through this time of crisis.
By RADIANT CIRCUS
[UPDATE 17 MAR]: We are currently collating information from venues and other exhibitors about how audiences can support them through this time of crisis. We will post everything we find here and share widely via Twitter @radiantcircus. Follow us there for news and updates.
We wrote this before the government advice changed… edits in progress…
First things first… the indie exhibitors that are keeping projecting and those that are choosing to close or postpone their events all have our full support.
Keeping organisers and audiences safe from harm is our highest priority, but independent film exhibition is always fragile and these circumstances are putting organisers under immense pressure. If you are already in self-isolation or have decided to distance yourself socially, you can still find ways of supporting #LDNindieFILM (if you have the funds to do so).
Consider becoming a member or champion to strengthen organisers’ revenue streams. Close-Up and many other cinemas offer great annual membership schemes that reward you with discounts and other great benefits (not forgetting the Prince Charles’ legendary lifetime membership)… Rather than just a nice perk, these schemes give venues an important revenue spine throughout the year. Our friends at Screen25 rely on such monthly memberships to protect them from the ups and downs of box office revenues (not every film sells as well as every other…). If you can afford it, get those direct debits in place and see what you can do to keep the projectors whirring after the crisis has passed.
You can also consider contributing to a good cause. Several screen venues are planing for currently uncertain futures and you could do a lot worse than help boost their resources at this time of challenge. The Lexi is crowdfunding to fit out a second screen and there are important efforts underway to keep The Horse Hospital open by adding to their battle fund to fight rent rises at the end of their current lease. Similarly, The Cinema Museum is still in peril and taking petition signatures to prove their value.
As the crisis abates, stay tuned for further news and announcements and get booking tickets when it’s safe again to do so. Your favourite screen venue or event organiser will be posting updates about their own screenings and of course we will be doing our best at radiantcircus.com to keep across changing circumstances.
Our most up to date postings will be our weekly digests as we follow London’s screen news.
And finally, if film is fragile, so too are the wonderful people that keep London’s independent cinema scene alive, both behind the projector and those seated in the auditorium. Let’s take care of each other. We don’t expect film to be at the top of people’s priorities if and when crisis deepens, individually or for society as a whole. But it will pass. In-keeping with our mission to promote and preserve alternative screen culture, we look forward to supporting London’s vibrant independent cinema scene far into the future.
See you in darkness…
Richard – Barker-In-Chief, RADIANT CIRCUS
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