On Monday 8th May The Kinematic - a cinema arts collective - hosted their first pop-up cinema event at St Bride’s Church.
Tickets for the screening sold out within 24 hours - Alex from Kinematic writes about their experience of the event.
The film we screened was Sister Act and we had the Love & Joy Gospel Choir singing before the film and afterwards. They sounded amazing in the church, especially when singing with The Kinematic house band. Although this event was our first, it was very important to us in another way as well.
We have become increasingly aware of the rising numbers of rough sleepers in our city. We really wanted to help in some way and thought a great, creative and fun way of raising awareness and funds for The Whitechapel Centre was to host a pop-up cinema night. We wanted to work with The Whitechapel Centre as they work specifically with the local community and, as this is important to us, we decided that we would not make any profit from the Sister Act screening and give all proceeds to the charity.
Even though we wanted to raise funds for a serious issue, we did not want our event to be caught up in the seriousness of the current situation - we wanted to create an atmosphere of joy, celebration and hope. This is why we chose the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg classic to screen; it’s funny, joyous and also is all about safety and shelter. Our aim is to make site-specific cinema, and so the obvious choice to screen this film would be in a the shelter of a church, and that is why we looked at St Bride’s.
St Bride’s is not just a beautiful building in the heart of a community, but a forward thinking and creative church with many outreach programmes. One of the great things they do, and they do many, is to provide a safe space for female refugees. By hosting our first pop-up event here we get two benefits; a beautiful space and another way of being able to impact our local community.
The community who run St Bride’s Church were fantastically helpful throughout the whole process; from initial contact, through setting up, to receiving feedback post-event. We can’t thank them enough. St Bride’s gave us access to their kitchen, foyer and main space with plenty of time to allow us to set up and prepare for the night. They even allowed us to use their professional standard projector and screen (loaned from their sister church St Dunstan’s). This meant we could screen the film to a very high standard and with minimal outgoings, allowing more money to go to The Whitechapel Centre.
The night raised £620.22, through selling bespoke cakes, hot and soft drinks and all profits from ticket sales. This is a fantastic amount to raise and will pay for a cooked breakfast for 1,240 rough sleepers, or 50 hours of support for a vulnerable adult, or even to cover the costs of opening the Enablement Centre for one day! Again, a fantastic achievement; and this is not even the final amount! We had talented local artists sell Sister Act tote bags and badges, with the profits again going to The Whitechapel Centre. To help us raise more money for The Whitechapel Centre, you can purchase a wonderful Whoopi Goldberg badge here.
St Bride’s is an amazing venue and one which we at The Kinematic can see flourish into a prominent cultural venue in Liverpool. For us, it will always be the birthplace of The Kinematic and will hold a special place in our hearts.