Plymouth Arts Cinema has released its plans to reopen on Saturday 26th September, following months of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While cinemas in England have been allowed to open since July 4th, the majority of independent cinemas are planning September opening. The summer months are traditionally quiet for independent cinema, and film availability has been impacted by the lockdown.
The staff team at PAC are working to create a safe pathway to reopening, and create audience confidence to return to the cinema.
The cinema’s popular Open Air Cinema programme will not be taking place this year. The main venue, Plymouth’s iconic Tinside Lido, is not possible to use due to current restrictions but PAC look forward to bringing these successful events back in 2021.
The weekend of 26-27 September will be a part of the Plymouth Art Weekender. The cinema will be screening “This Is Us,” a free programme of short films on a drop in basis. The films will be a manifesto of what the independent cinema can and should be. This will include films chosen by and with our team and volunteers to reflect the diversity of what the cinema offers. This includes screening films by black and ethnic minority diverse, female and LQBT+ filmmakers. These are all important parts of the regular programme, which will resume in the week commencing Tuesday 29th September.
In the absence of any income from ticket sales, months of successful fundraising from the PAC team during lockdown have taken the organisation much further towards safeguarding the cinema’s future sustainability.
Andrew Brewerton, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said “Plymouth Arts Cinema has a really strong following. It is great to see the level of support that we have received from all quarters. This includes Plymouth City Council, The British Film Institute, Plymouth College of Art, our suppliers, our sponsors Chris Kallis Solicitors, and our audience and membership via Crowdfunder and other donations”
Plymouth Arts Cinema was awarded £15,000 emergency funding to help the organization to survive the ongoing venue shutdown due to COVID-19, thanks to National Lottery funding through the BFI Audience Network (FAN) COVID-19 Resilience Fund.
A recent Crowdfunder campaign raised £5,126. This was supported by Plymouth City Council and the City Change Fund, and included a Community Grant Funding Contribution of £200 on behalf of the St Peter & Waterfront Councillor Sue McDonald. £3600 of this will be used to invite 300 of Plymouth’s key workers to a complimentary trip to the cinema, to thank them for their hard work during the crisis. The remaining amount will be invested into the cinema, helping to ensure the future stability of Plymouth Arts Cinema, an independent and iconic local organization since 1947, and the growth of culture in Plymouth.