Arts and culture

Community Cinema

Phoenix Community Cinema scheme will no longer operate in Northants.

To: Phoenix Community Cinema Organisers

I am very sad to inform you it has been necessary to close our Phoenix Community Cinema (PCC) programme. Regrettably we will not be supporting community cinema events from here onwards.

I want to thank you as one of the community organisers who’ve brought the joy of film events to local communities across Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire.

Firstly, I want to offer some suggestions as to how you may continue without our support. Then I explain the issues that have led to the decision to close PCC.

Suggested support:

Cinema for All: is a charity that supports organisers of community cinema events including a film booking service, equipment hire and advice and guidance. We recommend you look at their website and contact Cinema for All if you need any specific support.

Film Hub Midlands: consider joining Film Hub Midlands, which is regional source of news, advice and guidance. It also offers small grant funding opportunities.

Phoenix Newsletter: consider our weekly newsletter as a source of inspiration and information on films you might wish to consider booking. This does not just cover new releases - during lockdown we provided Phoenix at Home including film recommendations to watch at home.

Filmbankmedia: PCC provided the film rights booking service for organisers through Filmbankmedia, which has a very wide range of films and booking options. Many other organisations book directly with Filmbankmedia and we suggest you open an account with this service to book film rights directly. (Alternatively check the Cinema for All service).

Luna Flix Northamptonshire: organises summer seasons of out-door cinema events in Northamptonshire. Luna Flix is run by a former PCC projectionist, is looking into providing community cinema events in the county from the autumn. Luna Flix may be able to offer you locally based and familiar support.

Please send enquiries to the following email address:

West Northamptonshire Council: Sue Carverhill, the Arts Development Officer wishes to offer support to organisers in the West Northamptonshire Area. Sue can be contacted by email: ;and phone: 01327 322334

Reasons behind the decision to close PCC

Phoenix Community Cinema (formerly known as Centre Screen) started in 2003 and for many years the network of 60 community venues served an annual audience of over 12,000.

The 270 or so volunteer organisers have been vital to its success and there is some consolation that many have progressed to running their community film programmes independently having been given a start by PCC. Many venues have installed projectors, screens and sound systems that I hope will continue to be used for film events.

It’s been a terrible 18 months for community cinema and our main venue in Leicester.

Pre-COVID, the funding needed to cover the costs of PCC came 50% from audience contributions and 50% from grants. Local authorities have withdrawn grant support in recent years, and COVID-19 stopped all audience income from March 2020. Whilst I know some groups are thinking about starting events again, demand will not pick up enough to cover our costs for the foreseeable future when grant income is also reduced.

Despite our efforts to find new grants during 2020, it was not possible to develop a viable recovery plan for PCC. Closure of the scheme is very regrettable, but I am proud of the achievements of the staff. I want to acknowledge and thank the staff of PCC who helped local volunteer groups organise regular film events across Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland for many years.

Kind regards,

John Rance (Chief Executive Officer)


Information about screening films in community spaces

Other film clubs are:

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