What do you get when you take an empty room in the Old Magistrates Court, a bunch of passionate community doers and makers, and a middle finger to the multiplexes? A Small Cinema, the city’s most exciting new project…

Helmed by artist Sam Meech, who’s overseen a similar project in Manchester’s Moston, A Small Cinema aims to plug a gap by creating a welcoming, affordable space for community films and leftfield artist movies to flourish and thrive. It’s a pretty open-ended proposition, aiming to “understand the relationship of cinema to community, to test models of temporary film exhibition, and question what a future cinema ecology might look like”. Basically, a bit different from throwing overpriced popcorn down your neck in the Odeon.

The exciting thing about A Small Cinema is that it’s simply adding itself into the city’s movie mix – not treading on the toes of Odeon, or even rivalling FACT. This is a tiny DIY space that’s been bashed together and polished through a mixture of passionate volunteers, generous donors (who’ve pitched in anything from lightbulbs and paint to cinema seating) and a thrilling vision for what a small-scale local cinema could and should be.

The team have been feverishly blogging and documenting the space’s progress on their tumblr – a rather brilliant way to engage with people in the community before it’s even been opened. To witness the space go from a knackered empty room, to a fully-functioning cinema thing, has been very special.

To kick things off, the Food For Real festival heads there this weekend. The cinema’s programme is currently being fleshed out for this spring, with lots more to come. We can’t wait.

A Small Cinema
57-59 Victoria Street,
Liverpool, L1 6ED

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