Declarations for Cinema from the Scala Beyond network
In 2003 I had the idea to open a digital cinema. The new digital projectors were increasing in quality and coming down in price and I thought it might be possible to set up a small digital cinema but with an informal, comfortable environment where you could get good food and drink.
We opened in 2006 with the aim to show as much classic / alternative / world / indie cinema as possible, at a time when the multiplexes still ruled and DVD postal rental was starting to take off.
Over the years I’m really happy that we’ve managed to maintain a strong, diverse programme and reach a wide audience, from providing a second chance to catch the pick of first-run releases that often only play for a week in a handful of screens across London, to double-bills, seasons and mini-festivals, whilst providing a home to some brilliant Film Clubs and Festivals.
There have been too many to mention them all, but some of the current best include Filmbar70, PassengerFilms, Campaign for Horror, the London Short Film Festival and most recently the new Aorta Burst and Savage Cinema monthly nights, which I’m sure will go from strength to strength.
Admittedly, I’m not involved in programming the films for these nights and in most cases don’t have the knowledge or skills to do so, but the ability to provide a venue for these clubs to thrive and to help them find an audience is what really drives me.
In starting up the original Scala Forever season, which has grown into the season you see now, I’m really pleased to be able to be part of something which shows that despite all the new VideoOnDemand services and variety of devices to watch films, the work of programmers, film clubs and indie exhibitors is still important, of high quality, and appreciated by the growing audiences.