The Filmhouse on Lothian Road is much more than just a cinema. It is a place to meet friends for a coffee, or something great to eat before or after a film.
It is also the hub of movies as they run the Edinburgh Film Festival (and the virtual festival has just finished).
Now they are asking for some financial support from their community. An annual pass for Filmhouse costs £40 and they ask that their supporters pay that to a Go Fund Me fundraiser to keep them going.
We invited Juliet Tweedie Head of Development for Filmhouse to be a guest on our podcast and you can listen here to what she has to say about the charity. Yes Filmhouse is a charity, and runs a cinema here in Edinburgh and one in Aberdeen.
Juliet Tweedie, Head of Development for Filmhouse said: “We have all been so touched by the outpouring of love and support for Filmhouse since we closed our doors in March.
“The last three months have been very challenging. We have been very lucky to be able to access support from Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Government and the UK Government through the furlough scheme. Even with this support to help with the immediate financial strain, we anticipate that as well as a reduction in admissions when we do re-open, due to constraints on capacity in the building and changing habits of customers, we will have to invest hard cash into making the building safe and navigable for our customers and staff.
“We need your help to secure our future, so that we can continue our work as Scotland’s leading independent cinema and a hugely active charity in the city. We are a vital part of our community, and we don’t want to give up any of it. We recognise that this is a time of uncertainty, and other charities may be approaching you for help. We are so grateful for any donations, however large or small, and thank you for thinking of us.”
Filmhouse is also Scotland’s largest independent cinema screening over 850 films, seasons and special programmes for about 200,000 people a year.
Its film education programme is attended by over 10,000 school children each year, and it seeks to inspire young film lovers through its Young Programmers initiative. Its Senior Selections programme brings together older audiences at risk of isolation. And its Café Bar is a much-loved community space, where its famous nachos and chickpea curry have been keeping the city well-fed for over 20 years.
Despite recent government announcements around the reopening of cinemas and the projected Phase 3 return in Scotland, the recent survey by the Independent Cinema Office found that the challenges of social distancing measures and the need for significantly reduced audience sizes means that reopening may not be viable for many.
The Go Fund Me is here.