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Fifty years ago The Castle Cinema in Hackney welcomed its last guests… Let’s give this old picture palace a new lease of life!
Fifty years ago The Castle Cinema in Hackney welcomed its last guests… Let’s give this old picture palace a new lease of life!
Fifty years ago The Castle Cinema in Hackney welcomed its last guests… Let’s give this old picture palace a new lease of life!
663 backers pledged £57,000 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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£57,000

663

Thanks so much to each & every one of you who’s made this project possible! Can't wait to make this happen!

For updates, tickets & everything else, check out:

thecastlecinema.com

Much love, Ash & Dee x

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STRETCH GOAL #2 - Final Furnishings & Fairydust Fund!

This is epic!!! The money now raised will enable us to do more from day one than we dared hope!

Regardless of how much further we can go, The Castle is going to feel like a home away from home. But there’s always more we can do, and since our main target was focussed on the practical elements of the cinema, with this stretch goal we’re aiming to make sure our affordable little cinema will rival the finest picture palaces in the land! Even better seats, side tables, comfy pillows & blankets, carpet you can wriggle your toes in… anything’s possible!

*COMPLETE* STRETCH GOAL #1 - Event Cinema

We've reached our £45,000 goal! Can't begin to express our gratitude! Thanks to each and every one of you who've helped us make it this far. But we're not finished yet...!

We want to screen the best and broadest range of content, and live events are an increasingly exciting area which we're very keen to share.

Event cinema includes productions such as National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Royal Ballet, TED Talks, Q&As with directors (streamed from other cinemas), art gallery tours and educational broadcasts.

To screen this, we will need additional hardware - installation of a satellite dish + receiver, and associated equipment.

So we are adding a stretch goal of £55,000 (an extra £10,000) to enable us to provide this from the get-go...

As seen in:

The historic Castle Electric Theatre on Chatsworth Road in Hackney was an independent, single-screen cinema which ran from 1913 to 1958. Since then it has been used as a bingo club, a warehouse and most recently a snooker hall. It became pretty dilapidated, but many of its original features remained, hidden from view. A few years ago Eat17 took it on, turning the ground floor into a lovely convenience store and part of the first floor into a bar & restaurant.

Visiting the space last year, we felt it was just too special to be left empty - with it’s ornate plasterwork, proscenium arch and curved ceiling, this beautiful picture palace is rich with history.

the proscenium arch of The Castle today
the proscenium arch of The Castle today

So we approached Eat17 with an idea... to reopen the first floor as a cinema!

We want to create a space which is inviting and accessible. Somewhere to celebrate the full breadth of cinema from independents to blockbusters, and host live content, film festivals and other forums. An affordable venue for community organisations to hold events and for local filmmakers to screen their works.

It will be an intimate & affordable local cinema with a single screen and seating for approximately 60 guests. We're aiming for a June 2016 launch.

Isle of Hackney map © Beyond Thrilled
Isle of Hackney map © Beyond Thrilled

Our background

Hackney is an incredible borough in an incredible city. It has a creative energy and enthusiasm for new experiences to rival anywhere in the world, making it possible to share even the craziest of concepts.

In 2012 we launched Hot Tub Cinema right here, turning a far fetched idea into a living, breathing event. The reception we received gave us the confidence to keep trying new things, and in 2014 we branched out with Pillow Cinema - a less-aquatic format suited to a wider range of films.

Sunset at Hot Tub Cinema
Sunset at Hot Tub Cinema

Unique spaces

We work hard to find truly special settings - we've done screenings on rooftops, in underground stations, and in stately homes. But many of these spaces have since been knocked down to make way for shiny new developments. The Castle could have been another one of those stories...

So often we see lovely buildings disappearing, being turned into flats, or otherwise lost for public use. So we're bloody chuffed to have the chance to revive this historic gem...

Pillow Cinema at the Shoreditch Underground
Pillow Cinema at the Shoreditch Underground

Why £45,000?

We want to make a great cinema that is going to stand the test of time. We want to have the flexibility to show the latest releases - from independents & Hollywood - as well as older titles, and we want it to look and sound awesome. That means investing in a DCI-compliant system. It will give us the quality and access-to-content that we need, but it comes at a price.

We also need the materials to restore the empty space into a fully functional auditorium, which includes walls, flooring, seats and lights.

So we’re asking for £45,000 to cover these crucial elements that will make the whole project possible.

the space now
the space now

Why Kickstarter?

The opportunity to revive one of London's original cinemas and make a lasting contribution to our cultural heritage gets us very excited. But we need to know that our friends, past guests and local community share our dream. Crowdfunding enables us to share the journey with you, and after all, you’re the people we’re doing this for... x

Pillow Cinema al fresco
Pillow Cinema al fresco

Rewards 

We've made a jolly infographic to show our rewards... check it out!

Press Enquiries

If you want to talk to us and hear more about our story contact press@pillowcinema.com.

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Risks and challenges

Deliverable rewards

Whilst we've thought of many novel rewards we'd love to share, we are aware of the risk of over-promising and under-delivering, particularly during such a busy phase of a business' growth. As such we have chosen to stick with rewards which are part of our core competencies (eg tickets and membership are part of our core offer, whereas t-shirts and tote bags wouldn't be...) We want to make sure that everyone is happy and rewarded, and the last thing we want is to disappoint our most valued supporters.

Opening date

Inevitably the unknown might occur, and the opening date might slip. We feel confident that June 2016 is a realistic suggestion, but if it does slip slightly, we'll have to just keep everyone up to date.

Competition

We're aware there is a wide variety of cinemas around London. However we sincerely believe we can add a meaningful contribution to the breadth of London cinemas as a whole, and to our local community in particular.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    THANK YOU!

    Includes:
    - our eternal gratitude and a warm fuzzy feeling
    - a "Thank You" on the website for your donation & support

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    Pledge £10 or more About $14

    ADMIT ONE

    Includes:
    - one admission (to be redeemed at a screening of your choice)
    - a "Thank You" on the website for your donation & support

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    Pledge £25 or more About $35

    MEMBERSHIP (ONE YEAR)

    Includes:
    - TWO free tickets

    Plus:
    - member priced tickets throughout the year
    - member prices at the bar
    - a "Thank You" on the website for your donation & support

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    Pledge £50 or more About $69

    FOUNDING MEMBERSHIP (ONE YEAR)

    Includes:
    - FOUR free tickets
    - your name in "Thank You" credits before every film

    Plus:
    - member priced tickets throughout the year
    - member prices at the bar
    - a "Thank You" on the website

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    Pledge £75 or more About $104

    FOUNDING MEMBERSHIP (ONE YEAR)
    + OPENING NIGHT PARTY

    Includes:
    - FOUR free tickets
    - your name in "Thank You" credits before every film
    - invitation to opening night party (who knows, Marilyn might even make an appearance!)

    Plus:
    - member priced tickets throughout the year
    - member prices at the bar
    - a "Thank You" on the website

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    Pledge £100 or more About $139

    PREMIER MEMBERSHIP (ONE YEAR)

    Includes:
    - ONE free ticket EVERY MONTH
    - your name in "Thank You" credits before every film
    - invitation to opening night party

    Plus:
    - member priced tickets throughout the year
    - member prices at the bar
    - a "Thank You" on the website

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £125 or more About $173

    COMPANY SPONSOR (BRONZE)

    Includes:
    - your company logo or name
    - displayed on-screen with other bronze sponsors (no more than ten)
    - shown before every screening throughout our first year

    Plus:
    - social media thanks
    - a "Thank You" on the website

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    Pledge £150 or more About $208

    PREMIER MEMBERSHIP FOR TWO (ONE YEAR)

    Includes:
    - TWO free tickets EVERY MONTH
    - your names in "Thank You" credits before every film
    - pair of invites to opening night party

    Plus:
    - member priced tickets throughout the year
    - member prices at the bar
    - a "Thank You" on the website

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £300 or more About $416

    SPONSOR A CHAIR
    Become part of the fabric of the building

    Includes:
    - your personal / company name and message affixed to one of our cinema seats

    Plus:
    - Founding Membership (one year)
    - invitation to opening night party

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $694

    COMPANY SPONSOR (SILVER)

    Includes:
    - your company logo, name and contact
    - 1/4 screen sized (alongside three other silver sponsors)
    - shown before every screening throughout our first year

    Plus:
    - pair of invites to opening night party
    - social media thanks
    - a "Thank You" on the website

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    Pledge £750 or more About $1,040

    PRIVATE SCREENING
    Whether you want to do a company presentation, you're a budding film maker with something to share, or you just fancy treating your friends to your fave film on the big screen!

    Includes:
    - exclusive use of the auditorium (for up to 3 hours, to enable a long film or a screening with presentation. Day & time subject to approval)

    Plus:
    - two Founding Memberships (one year)
    - pair of invites to opening night party

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,387

    COMPANY SPONSOR (GOLD)

    Includes:
    - your company logo, name, contact and message
    - 1/2 screen sized (alongside one other gold sponsor)
    - shown before every screening throughout our first year

    Plus:
    - pair of invites to opening night party
    - newsletter thanks
    - social media thanks
    - a "Thank You" on the website

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,500 or more About $2,081

    MONTHLY CURATOR (ONE YEAR)
    Curate your own monthly screening for a year!

    Includes:
    - your name (or group's name) on the program eg Dave's Horror Sunday
    - your choice of film (title, day & time subject to approval)
    - 20 tickets per screening to share with your friends

    Plus:
    - two Founding Memberships (one year)
    - a pair of invites to opening night party

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    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,468

    COMPANY SPONSOR (PLATINUM)

    Includes:
    - your company logo, name, contact and message
    - full screen
    - shown before every screening throughout our first year

    Plus:
    - private screening / cinema hire
    - pair of invites to opening night party
    - tailored partnership providing high-visibility for your brand
    - newsletter thanks
    - social media thanks
    - a "Thank You" on the website

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,468

    THE REEL DEAL!

    Includes:
    - Monthly Curator
    - Private Hire
    - Chair
    - Premier Membership for Two
    - a pair of invites to opening night party

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    Pledge £5,000 or more About $6,937

    LION FACE!
    We will make a pre-roll of your face, impersonating the famous movie roar, and show it before every film for the year!

    Plus:
    - Monthly Curator
    - Private Hire
    - Chair
    - Premier Membership for Two
    - a pair of invites to opening night party (lion face-paint optional)

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Funding period

- (29 days)