The Rise of Community Cinema

Are you fed up with the uber-expensive, plasticated, soulless experience that modern day cinemas provide?
Say hello to The Magic Lantern Film Club. They've been putting on pop-up cinema shows – screening movies everywhere from a pub-set Shaun of the Dead to a bicyle park venue for Butch Cassidy – since 2010, so they really know their movie onions. If you're sure that tub of popcorn as big as your head and monster packet of Revels is *quite* enough to keep you going, we'll bring down the lights for Mel Magic Lantern's guide to Sheffield pop-up cinema! Maybe one day we could have our own cineroleum (above)…
Hello all. So weirdly, at a time when DVD retail sales are dwindling and you can watch the latest movie streamed directly to your laptop or phone, people are still going out to see films. Not only that but they’re perching on wonky chairs in draughty church halls or squeezed into the back room of a pub rather than the comfort of their living rooms or purpose built cinema seat… Why? Because independent screenings are fun, friendly and make film-viewing a memorable experience beyond the multiplex. Instead of just shuffling away as the credits roll, you feel part of a community of people you might like to go for a pint with afterwards.
When we started Magic Lantern Film Club almost three years ago, there was nothing else like it in Sheffield. Now, independent screenings and film clubs seem to be popping up all over the place. But you have to know where to look…  So here's the first of our monthly roundups of what’s happening in Sheffield’s indy film scene! Can you stop banging the back of our chair?
The Sands, Low Bradfield Village Hall, S6 6LB
Monthly screenings of recent releases on a large screen with HD projection and surround sound in a relaxed community atmosphere. Become a member of the Village Hall to attend; screenings are free but donations welcome. Generally an intermission – popcorn, local ale and Our Cow Molly ice cream available.   
18 Kenwood Park Road, S7 1NF.
Monthly-ish Friday night film screenings of cult classics, introduced by Joe Gastineau aka The Wooden Kimono, in one of Sheffield’s best venues. Tickets £3, bar at venue. Their recent Alternative Valentine’s Day screening of “Harold and Maude” was a sell-out!
Magic Lantern Film Club
No Fixed Abode.
Sheffield’s only nomadic cinema club, popping up in different venues for themed monthly screenings of cult classics and forgotten favourites. Expect a fun and friendly ambience with a social element to bring people together – a recent highlight was their dress-up Ladykillers complete with film bingo. Specialising in collaborative events with other organisations, they can also do special occasion/Desert Island screenings if you ask nicely. No charge for screenings but donations welcome and you need to sign up as a member (£5 p/a).

Penistone Paramount
Shrewsbury Rd,  Penistone, S36 6DY.
A mixture of recent releases and occasional oldies, but it’s a combination of the original features and up to date seating and technology that make this beautiful heritage cinema worth a special visit. See their website for full listings.
Red Deer Film Nights
18 Pitt St, Sheffield, S1 4DD
Mainly sci-fi with the odd foray into arthouse films, every Sunday except the first of the month.
£4 entry gets you a pint (or equivalent), popcorn, and film. Places are limited to about 15 people on beanbag seating, so best to phone ahead! Forthcoming screenings include Metropolis on Sunday March 17, Star Trek: The Motion Picture on Sunday March 24 and Star Trek II on Sunday March 31 to be followed by the rest of the franchise through April!
Sharrow Reels
215 Sharrowvale Road S11 (Crowded House church)
A varied programme with lots of recent releases you may have missed first time round. £3 entry gets you film, a cracking cup of coffee (having taken out the old church organ to install a state of the art coffee machine!) and choice of homemade cakes – plus a chance to win the DVD of the movie. What’s not to love? 

Urban Entertainment
Specialists in large-scale mobile cinema and big outdoor screenings, their inflatable screen has to be seen to be believed. Recently put on the Red Bull Cityscape at the Park Hill amphitheatre for Sheffield Adventure Film Festival.
If all of this sounds jolly interesting to you, the British Federation of Film Societies is based right here in Sheffield and they could provide you with some advice on starting your own pop up cinema! Contact Jaq or Bryony for more information on 0114 2210314.
To take a further look at the cinematic joy in store at the Magic Lantern Film Club, have a butchers at their website here.

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