Tue 21 September 2021

It's been a stop-start 18 months (mainly stop and very little start...) but we get the sense that communities are feeling a bit braver about starting their local film screenings again. Many of our members stop screening films during the summer months anyway and start again when the schools go back.  Although we know that several groups are not yet confident about re-starting (and about covering the licence fees with smaller audience numbers) some of our members have managed Covid-friendly screenings and had success. Most importantly, their local communities have been really grateful for the opportunity to get out and meet each other socially once more. It might be a bit more complicated these days, it might take more planning but it's definitely worth it.

As the days get shorter and the weather cooler, it's even more important to encourage communities to gather together, safely, and to enjoy having company. Those connections and conversations are what sustain us and help to combat isolation and loneliness that are ever-present in the depths of winter - not least post pandemic.

In our previous post we shared a link to the current advice for cinemas in relation to Covid and that's still relevant and valuable, so if you're a community group wondering what guidelines to adhere to, that document will give you a bit of a checklist and hopefully confidence to press ahead.

The BFI (British Film Institute) is encouraging the UK Film Hubs to screen again. If you're feeling unsure and want to discuss it, get in touch.  If you're thinking of starting up for the first time, drop us a line. We're here to help.

Sun 04 October 2020

Hello everyone. It's been such an uncertain time but after a very quiet 2020 we're starting to see a few community cinemas opening their doors again - following Government guidance and in Covid safe venues - and we're here to offer support.

A document has been released from the UK Cinema Association in partnership with the BFI and the Government's DCMS, specifically for cinemas. As a member of the BFI Film Audience Network, we're following the BFI's lead. You can read the document here.

This info is designed for larger cinemas but it also lists helpful advice about managing audiences and adhering to guidelines, which will be relevant to smaller venues.

If you're a community cinema and not able to open your doors, there is growing momentum around community screenings online. These can be as ad hoc as picking a film that's screening on a terrestrial channel and inviting your usual audience to watch it at the same time, and then having an online discussion or simply phoning a neighbour to talk about it. So if you're thinking about running an online event but don't know where to start, get in touch.

Either way, we always love to hear from community cinemas and to share ideas about how best to support the sector going forward.

All the best.


Sat 03 August 2019

We've got some lovely screenings that we're supporting this summer, that we wanted to share with everyone!

Melford Hall is screening Peter Rabbit on 11th August, in their grounds. Bring a picnic! Tickets and info here

The Museum of East Anglian Life is screening four films, all outdoor, over one weekend. Some Like It Hot, The Matrix, Frozen (Singalong) and Bohemian Rhapsody, all screening 16th and 17th August. Tickets and info here

Thanks to Big Lottery Fund / National Lottery Community Fund for their support.

Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds is screening Alice in Wonderland (Disney version) on 31st August at 6pm, as part of their Alice in Wonderland exhibition. They are also screening one of the very first black and white Alice films (8 minutes) as part of the exhibition. Details here

Thanks to West Suffolk Council for their support.

Wed 03 April 2019

We piloted some dementia-friendly screenings at Suffolk venues a couple of years ago and since then we have received regular enquiries.

We're delighted that dementia-friendly screenings are still taking place at the venues originally involved in our pilot activity and we're here to encourage and offer support for more screenings - so if you have a venue or an event in mind, do get in touch.

We think it's really important that we promote inclusivity for those living with dementia and their carers - and that they don't feel excluded from arts and cultural venues.

Dementia-friendly screenings are open to anyone but as there are subtle changes made for these screenings (breakout spaces available, potentially lower light and noise levels) they are fully accessible for those living with dementia.

Coming Up! -

Great Blakenham Cinema is screening Paddington at Great Blakenham Village Hall on Sunday April 28th at 2pm. Tickets £4. Email: [email protected]


Haverhill Arts Centre is screening The Wizard of Oz on 14th May at 10.30am. Tickets £5, carers go free. Contact the Arts Centre to find out more: https://www.haverhillartscentre.co.uk/performance/the-wizard-of-oz-u/


Our thanks to Big Lottery Fund and West Suffolk Community Chest for their support with these screenings!

Fri 14 December 2018



We always have a great time at the meet-up but this year it was lovely to see meet some of the new members who have joined us over the past few months.


Thanks to the National Lottery, we were able to open up the meet-up to volunteers and interested parties to join us and find out more about how it all works.


Straight from the horse’s mouth, here is some of the feedback that we’ve received:


Many thanks for the invitation the other day - both Ben and I found the afternoon very useful, and we went away with a much better understanding of what is involved when screening a film in a rural community cinema (and some of the pitfalls to be avoided!). Also, we managed to touch base with quite a few seasoned professionals, all ready to give us advice. (Stoke by Clare)


Thanks again for arranging the lunch / presentations on Wednesday it was all very useful (Gt. Finborough)


Thank you so much for yesterday and also the great food. Now my husband is feeling much better we can hopefully, with a bit more help, get going on showing films at Edwardstone Parish Hall.


It was a very good annual gathering and I enjoyed finding colleagues who were early starters and still going strong. The venue worked well. (Polstead)


Thank you again for organising such an informative and very useful Members’ Meet-up at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket this afternoon. Sue and myself thoroughly enjoyed the session and meeting fellow members to share experiences.  I look forward to receiving further details about Life on the Deben as it could be of interest to show at our next AGM in March. Hopefully the Suffolk Cinema Network will be able to continue to provide the clearly much appreciated and valued core support for the foreseeable future. (Shotley – Viking Forest Project)


Sun 18 November 2018

We're getting in early and having a lovely little festive meet-up for all members, partners, volunteers - and anyone interested in setting up their own community or village cinema - on December 5th, 1-4pm.

We'll be at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket and we'll have festive lunch/treats, drinks and a chance to meet and chat to our members about what makes a good community cinema. Some of our members have been running cinemas for over a decade, so they have plenty of insights to share!

If you're interested in joining Suffolk Cinema or want to find out more about setting up your own village cinema, come along and see us. We always like to see new faces. :)

[email protected]


Thu 24 May 2018

We'd like to welcome Darren from AED Sound as our official Technical Partner. Darren and his team have a wealth of knowledge about AV equipment and how to get the best sound and picture quality from your kit. They've done AV installations in many churches and cathedrals across Suffolk and Norfolk and AED are also the sole Tech Partner for our lovely friends at Creative Arts East Screen (formerly Village Screen) in Norfolk.

We're working hard to upgrade our kits and make them more user friendly - we have new screens at The Quay in Sudbury and John Peel Centre (coming soon!), plus all projectors are now HDMI and we have a couple of units that make kit assembly far easier. We aim to add another screen and another assembly unit into the mix soon enough...

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the kit, or want to upgrade your own audio equipment or projector, Darren is your man.

Tue 05 December 2017




Sponsored by The Sudbury Flower Club and McColls Sudbury



01787 374745



A mini bus will be operating within Sudbury, Cornard and surrounding villages to collect anyone living with dementia or who suffers from limited or restricted mobility.

There will, be a flat return fare of £4 payable to the driver on the day.  Anyone wishing to use this service needs to book in advance by calling GoStart office on 01787 242216.

Spaces will unfortunately be limited so you are advised to make booking arrangements well in advance. All our Mini Busses have wheel chair access.  It is very important for anyone travelling in a wheel chair to make that clear at time of booking.

As spaces are limited and demand is high, please ensure that you advise the GoStart office as soon as possible if you are unable to uphold your booking



If you are coming with a large group, please ensure that you arrive at least 20 minutes before the screening.

The space for wheelchairs is limited in the auditorium so it is essential that you advise the Box office of any wheelchair spaces needed within the theatre. Wheelchairs can be stored in the theatre wing if those using one are able to be walked to a fixed seat.

Our dementia friendly screenings have the house lights on low and the volume is kept lower than usual film screenings.

Staff are aware of the need of a ‘safe’ and quiet place within the theatre if needed by any of our visitors.


The Quay Theatre, Quay Lane, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2AN / 01787 374745


Singin’ in the Rain

A spoof of the turmoil that afflicted the movie industry in the late 1920s when movies went from silent to sound. When two silent movie stars', Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, latest movie is made into a musical a chorus girl is brought in to dub Lina's speaking and singing. Don is on top of the world until Lina finds out.
Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds
U | 1h 43min


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

While truant from school, young siblings Jeremy and Jemima meet the beautiful Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), who falls for their widowed father, Caractacus Potts (Dick Van Dyke), and his various oddball inventions, including the family's noisy rebuilt car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. One day at the beach, Caractacus tells Truly and the children a fanciful fable about the villainous Baron Bomburst (Gert Frobe) and his evil designs on the Potts family car.
Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries
U | 2h 24min


On the Town

Fun-loving sailors Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra) and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) have 24 hours of shore leave in New York City, and they want to make every second count. While Chip hooks up with loudmouth cab driver Brunhilde (Betty Garrett) and Ozzie swoons for prim anthropologist Claire (Ann Miller), Gabey falls in love with an actress he sees in an advertisement, Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen). Leonard Bernstein, with lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green providing the music. Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett U | 1h 38min



Gaston (Louis Jourdan) is a restless Parisian playboy who moves from one mistress to another, while also spending time with Gigi (Leslie Caron), a precocious younger friend learning the ways of high society. The platonic relationship between Gaston and Gigi changes, however, when she matures, but the possibility of something lasting seems unlikely since he won't commit to one woman. Gigi refuses to be anyone's mistress, however, and Gaston must choose between her and his carefree lifestyle.

Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan. A | 1h 55min



Mon 16 October 2017

We're thrilled to announce that Suffolk Cinema has been successful in two funding bids - to the Postcode Community Trust run by Postcode Lottery and also the Big Lottery Fund! This is a great endorsement of the work that we do in communities across the county.

This funding will help us expand our operations, upgrade bits of kit that are over 10 years old and also do more of the things that we do best - such as dementia-friendly screenings and a new venture supporting outdoor screenings.

Thanks to everyone who plays the Postcode Lottery and National Lottery!

Tue 20 June 2017
We've just had our annual board meeting and wanted to shout out about our figures for 2016-2017, which touch on all the great work going on right across Suffolk. We have 35 member groups that work with over 175 volunteers and across the year.
Collaboratively these community cinemas screened:
203 films
Sold 8210 adult tickets
Sold 866 children or concession tickets
Made £21,146 in box office income across the year (gross profit before paying licence fees etc)
This is a fantastic endorsement of community cinema - the profit made goes directly into the local communities / economies.
Well done everybody!

Upcoming Events

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Latest news:
September 2021

It’s been a stop-start 18 months (mainly stop and very little start…) but we get […]

October 2020

Hello everyone. It’s been such an uncertain time but after a very quiet 2020 we’re […]

August 2019

We’ve got some lovely screenings that we’re supporting this summer, that we wanted to share […]

April 2019

We piloted some dementia-friendly screenings at Suffolk venues a couple of years ago and since […]

Our Technical Partner
Technical Assistance - Sales - Installation - Cinema - Audio - A.V - Induction Loop
Tel: 01953 860074 / 07887 620864
Email: [email protected]