Deptford Cinema is turning 5!
In 2014, a group of community-minded film fans came together to transform a dusty old shop into a new venue for cinema and arts in Deptford. There had previously been no dedicated cinema for the Borough of Lewisham - today, the Deptford Cinema is an award-winning volunteer led enterprise that is a vital part of the cultural life of South East London. Over the past five years, the Cinema has gone from strength to strength, welcoming audiences from across London and the world, to a fantastic array of film screenings, Q&As, art performances, and many more varied events. We have also been privileged enough to have the patronage of legendary Czech animator Jan Svankmajer, and Troma’s deviant master, Lloyd Kaufman and have been supported by Glenda Jackson and Sue Perkins.
With regular press coverage in Time Out and the Evening Standard, amongst others, the Cinema is also a leading light in the DIY venues movement across the country.
We also now have a fully functioning travelling cinema, after a successful funding bid, bringing a unique film experience to community centres and retirement homes across the Borough of Lewisham.
Deptford Cinema is a non-hierarchical community project, with every decision being made in an open, participatory structure by a group of volunteers. Everyone is free to become a volunteer and everyone’s voice is equal.
Following five years of growth, we are now in a position to push through the last large projects and put the finishing touches on the building. We have achieved a lot, but want to do more. We want to make our venue more accessible so that more people can enjoy events at Deptford Cinema. We want to bring live-streaming events to Lewisham for the first time at an affordable price. We want to improve the sound and lighting in the cinema and gallery so that we can run a more varied range of screenings and exhibitions.
With a goal of £15,000, we can complete some essential electrical upgrades and provide increased access to power and lighting throughout the building. Currently we have a very limited electrical setup with limited lighting and access to plug sockets.
With the intended upgrades, we will have many more opportunities for exhibitions, meetings, art installations and other community interest projects in our gallery space and cafe-bar. In the cinema itself, we will have the ability to build a dedicated server in the projection booth for live-streaming and events with more complex audio-visual setups.
The upgraded electrical system will also allow us to install a hearing loop in the cinema and cafe-bar, as part of our drive towards increasing accessibility throughout the building. Improved ambient lighting in the cinema will give us the ability to programme regular events with soft lighting requirements, such as relaxed and family friendly screenings.
The Cinema is entirely reliant on the energy and generosity of the community of volunteers - we have no commercial backers or shareholders, and previous development costs have come from arts funding organisations and a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2014. The ticket prices will always be affordable, and all income is reinvested into the core costs of running the cinema. The cinema exists sustainably through ticket sales and support from patrons but we are reliant on funding opportunities and donations for significant development projects such as this.
A previous fundraising campaign in 2014 smashed its expected goal, raising a total of £7,800 for the initial costs of opening the Cinema. Since then, we have received generous support from the BFI and other organisations for core costs, as well as countless hours of work from our brilliant volunteers for building projects. For the final pieces of work to finish the building, we need to work with a qualified electrician to ensure the safe installation of the final upgrades.
Alongside the donations listed on this page, we would be very grateful if you could spread the word about our campaign, on social media or just through simple word of mouth. For more ways to get involved, you can contact us via our website or come along to one of the weekly volunteer meetings - every Sunday from 11am at the Cinema.
Deptford Cinema has outgrown its initial electrical setup and needs to overhaul and upgrade the existing system to allow volunteers to make full use of the space the venue allows without being hampered by access to adequate sources of power or lighting.
Currently only a fraction of the circuits available to us on our consumer unit are being utilised, one circuit for upstairs and one circuit for downstairs.
At the current moment in time, each room only has functional lighting rather than decorative, something that with the impending completion of much of the painting and decorating in the space is the last step in completion of the building aspect of the project. The lighting that currently exists is only functional in that it allows basic use of the room rather than being functional in a creative use of the room, i.e. no functional lighting to illuminate the gallery spaces or functional lighting to illuminate stage performances.
As well as lighting, we will be increasing the number of power sockets throughout the building to properly support the work we want to do.
As per the above chart:
- 73.33% of the funds will go towards the basic electrical work eg. wiring, sockets, switches, lighting and labour.
- 10% will go towards additional fixtures eg. gallery lighting and decorative lighting.
- 8% goes towards creating all of the rewards for our wonderful backers.
- 8.67% goes to Kickstarter to cover their fees and credit card processing.
We did it, thank you so much for all of your support to get us over the line. If we are able to reach £17,000: an extra £2,000 above our now reached target, we’ll be able to bring National Theatre Live to Deptford Cinema!
For our stretch goal, the majority of the cost involved is in the materials and labour involved in the installation of a NT Live satellite on the building and the relevant cabling to enable us to stream live theatre as part of our programme, with at least one NT Live screening a month.
National Theatre Live brings the best of British theatre to cinema screens all over the UK and beyond, from Tokyo to San Francisco. With state-of-the-art filming techniques, tailored to every play, we bring you each performance as it happens, in all its glory.
If we reach our stretch goal, we will be able to provide the DC community affordable theatre with fantastic performances like 'All about Eve', 'Small Island' and 'All My Sons'. All part of our plan to continue improving your experience at Deptford Cinema so please continue to share, like and donate so we can make this next big step forward.
Risks and challenges
Deptford Cinema occupies a former shop space on New Cross Road. Previously, almost all of the building and maintenance work has been carried out by volunteers and community interest groups (including Volunteer It Yourself with Wickes). However, the electrical work that needs to be done next will need to be carried out by qualified professionals. We have a number of quotes and plans already, but until we secure the required funding, we are not in a position to hire a contractor. As such, we cannot currently guarantee fixed dates for the schedule.
While we plan for the future of the cinema, we are reviewing our lease. When Deptford Cinema was first started five years ago, the lease was signed for ten years. As we are fulfilling the terms of that lease, we expect to be in our current building for at least five years. However, it would be irresponsible not to acknowledge the fact that situations can change unexpectedly. Any change in circumstances for Deptford Cinema would be communicated to our backers and via other social media channels.
If you have any further questions regarding Deptford Cinema’s future and our fundraising goals, please contact us on email@example.com, or come down to one of our weekly meetings every Sunday morning at 11am.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)