The Star and Shadow Cinema is more than a Cinema however.
It operates a unique system of open programming where any member of the public can come and suggest a film, music event or social activity to be put on. Priority is given to local causes and grass root organisations.
Events are programmed to inspire and educate audiences and are usually alternative to the mainstream, aswell as showing cult classics, art house and Avant Garde films.
Alongside the ticketed events the public are also able to access many community facilities free of charge.
On Sunday afternoons people are welcome to sit in the café without obligation to make a purchase, take part in an Art Club, Knitting & Sewing Groups, or take part in one of the markets that happen through out the year. There is also a free lending library and many local grassroots organisations hold their meetings in the building.
The Community Kitchen project offers a nutritious hot meal to members and neighbours once a month and also provides access to free haircuts by a professional barber, a repair café and film & music events on the same evening.
All cinema tickets are “Pay As You Can”, so as to keep our main film programme affordable and accessible to everyone.
Community members have free access to a Print Room, which has a risograph printer, lino cutting tools, and screen-printing facilities.
The building is fully wheelchair accessible with accessible car parking. There is a Changing Places Toilet Changing Places Toilets (changing-places.org) and a wheelchair accessible projection booth – something you won’t find from most buildings!
Being fully volunteer run with no paid staff, volunteers are able to gain a huge wealth of work experience in many areas of running an organisation – event management, café, bar, construction, admin, technical, film projection, stage management and more. Skills share is also an important aspect.
Every volunteer is involved in the decision making via a non-hierarchical system of management.
It is also classed as DIY organisation – Do It Yourself. Volunteers are supported to run their own projects or events as they see fit. Many people find this experience of empowerment invaluable. Our more recent community-facing projects were born from solidarity and our community’s need to connect after the pandemic and during the cost-of-living crisis.
Volunteers and members of the public continue to provide written and verbal testament to the benefits of having available a community owned space, run by the community for the community. It is known as a welcoming and comfortable place to hang out.
Volunteering has many beneficial effects on the mental health of community members. People from all walks of life get involved with each other – every age, ability and background work to make events and projects happen. Friendships are forged and community cohesion is reinforced.
Star and Shadow Cinema Co-operative