Community means a lot us.

We’re defined by our physical locale and the community that inhabits it.

We see film as a vehicle that can be used to transport communities in terms of history, education, fundraising and community awareness. It is a tool that, when used with imagination and creativity, can build stronger communities, integrate and inspire individuals and groups to be so much stronger than the sum of their parts.

Marsden and Huddersfield define us as a community cinema and as individuals within it and we cannot separate ourselves from this.

That’s our credo, if you like.

We wanted to know what our audience (members and non-members alike) thought about our role in their community. So when we recently entered the Cinema For All  / Filmbankmedia community awards, we had the perfect opportunity to find out.

The awards had one question to be asked of our audience:

‘My local community cinema is an Important part of our of community because …”

We were bowled over by the level of response we got.

There were a lot of thoughts and we wanted to share all of them with you.

So make yourself a cup of tea and have a read!

“…it is a cultural gem within a village that seems to have several. The fact that we can watch art house films alongside other superbly curated movies in a village of just 4,500 souls, and that you manage to attract a sufficient, and sufficiently appreciative audience to ensure a superb ambience, is quite astonishing really. This sort of thing is available elsewhere, but I suspect that the fact that we can see such films without having to trek to a city means you are perhaps engaging with audiences who might not otherwise see such films.”

“…it adds essential diversity of social and cultural opportunity without the need to gravitate to urban centres. Not only does it save time and money not having to travel away from the village, there is also an atmosphere that cannot be matched in the impersonal environment of a town cinema. In addition there is the chance to discuss amongst friends how the film affected us without first having to leave the building.”

“…it is fantastic to be able to watch quality independent films in an intimate local setting, alongside friends and acquaintances from my friendly village, within walking distance and with a bar and refreshments. It helps build relationships between the people who are most involved in community action in the village. It also regularly makes free screenings available for families who could not otherwise afford cinema tickets; and it sometimes holds wonderful ‘Film and Food’ events with great food themed according to the film shown, and are fantastic occasions. It is hard to imagine how we ever did without Electric Theatre Cinema, who are going from strength to strength!”

“…the alternative is a half-hour journey by car (longer by public transport) to an expensive impersonal commercial multiscreen cinema in our nearest town, and I now rarely bother to go – I much prefer Electric Theatre.”

“…it gives me chance to meet new people and enjoy films I wouldn’t normally see.”

“…it’s a creative hub of the village. Amazing to sit in a small space surrounded by other local film enthusiasts. We love it!!!!! Thankyou xx”

“…its so wonderful to bring people from the community together.”

“…it’s so fantastic to have our pop up cinema in marsden. As a little girl I remember going to the original electric cinema with my mum to see Born Free… my first cinema experience. Now it’s great to see great films in relaxed, informal evenings in local venues and to be in my community, seeing familiar faces and a chat.”

“…it has brought a wonderful range of films to our village. It has created an audience for
alternative, art-house cinema in an area where there was no alternative other than to trek
into the city for film culture.”

“…it’s local …it shows good films …it’s affordable”

“…it’s a great opportunity to see films that I wouldn’t otherwise get to see (nearest place would be Manchester or Bradford) but it also supports community venues and businesses.”

“…I get to see films I wouldn’t ordinarily see. I enjoy discussing the films with people in the community. It adds to the vibrancy of the village.”

“…I can walk to see a film and not suffer the fleecing franchises.”

“…you almost always talk with someone that you haven’t talked with before. The cinema brings films to the community that we might not otherwise see. Often challenging and thought-provoking; the room buzzes with conversation afterwards.”

“…I can see good quality films without having to travel too far. Lots of people would otherwise not have the opportunity so its great for widening the audience too!

“…it’s a great alternative to the showcase, good selection of films, a good chance to meet people.”

“…the nearest cinema is in the local town and does not show alot of films the community cinema shows.”

“…it’s great to be able to see films in my local area.”

“…it is an alternative to mainstream cinema on my doorstep.”

“…it’s an enjoyable, friendly place to see non-mainstream films only 15 minutes walk away.”

“…it’s really the only time i get to see films and some very interesting ones are put on by the ETC, which i appreciate getting the choice to see.”

“…we have such fun here together, collective & informal & so pleasure-ready”

“…it opens up world cinema to a local audience.”

“…it brings films that i would otherwise not see.”

“…it provides opportunity to see Corner House films in a local venue with friends. Encourages local people to meet and discuss films, different genres & experience a range of films outside my comfort zone eg. The Lobster.”

“…it is an affordable cinema experience. To be able to watch foreign, art house and independent cinema as well as more mainstream films on a screen with an audience as opposed to a small screen alone at home.”

“…it gives everybody an opportunity to see films that commercial cinemas don’t show.”

“…its great to have events going on just down the road – ones you can walk to – this is particularly great for me because I don’t have a car. And its great to see films that I wouldn’t have otherwise heard of.”

“…it allows people of all ages to meet and watch great films together. It’s a great atmosphere and people are really friendly.”

“…it brings my friends from both sides of Marsden together on a Sunday night.”

“…we get access to films we would not get to see without travelling out of town or to a city. It brings people together. It gives another form of culture & the arts to the village.”

“…it brings people together and contributes to the life and vibrancy of the local community.”

“…cinema is a communal experience and the chance to see ‘arthouse’ films anywhere is brilliant. Multiplexes rarely show the type of films i would like to see. Watching Netflix or DVDs is just not the same experience. Commitment to watching a whole film in a room full of people makes film more immersive.”

“…it provides the opportunity to see good quality films in a local setting.”

“…it enables people to easily see films which the otherwise would probably not be able to see.”

“…it brings together people from across the village (and wider) to watch great arthouse/independent films in a social setting.”

“…it gives access to films I couldn’t see otherwise – a shared experience”

“…it gives us a chance to watch films which we wouldn’t ordinarily see and broadens our horizons”

“…it brings local people to the cinema and to each other”

“it brings us films that just aren’t shown at the multiplex, and makes a wonderful change from watching sheep!”

“…I rarely get to big, very loud cinemas.”

“…it brings communal film watching out of major towns, offering a chance to get out and see well selected films at a reasonable price in a lovely building without unnecessary travel. I never see films at a large commercial cinema and this gives me another, far more comfortable, option.”

“…it is a chance to see inspiring films in a companionable setting with friends and neighbours.”

“…being able to share the wonder of film with old friends, and new friends, is a magical experience; it heightens our senses, opens up our world and for a few hours transcends us.”

“ … It unites a diverse range of people. I think you underestimate the importance you have within this community. Educating, uniting and inspiring us in a great environment.”

“… I have seen a wider range of films than I would have gone to the cinema to see, as it so easily accessible. I commend the team for their choice of films, some I have loved and some I have struggled with but I have never regretted seeing any of them”

“…the magic of film is being brought to us in a rural location where we would otherwise miss out”