Summer always seems to be a tricky time of year for the cinema, lots of people are either away on holiday or just enjoying the lovely, if sporadic, sunny weather. This includes those involved in the running of the cinema as well as those from the local communities who might otherwise come along to the showings. One option that was therefore floated by the group was to have a summer break – a halt to all showings over July and August while steward and audience numbers are likely to be at their lowest. This approach has it downfalls though, primarily can a cinema still call itself a cinema if it doesn’t show films (for the summer at least)? Thankfully we have an alternative whereby a film can be shown but with a few changes to normal proceedings. Let me try and explain.

Most of the showings put on by Mearns Community Cinema are arranged via a public license, meaning that it can be almost any film we can get hold of through our providers, NEAT, and that the film can be advertised and an entry fee can be charged. There is, of course, a fee associated with this license. However, the kind folk at the Mearns Community Library have offered to put on a couple of joint showings over the summer using their own film showing license. This differs to the usual public showings license in the following ways:

  • The film must be one that is part of the Aberdeenshire Libraries catalogue;
  • The title of the film cannot be publicly advertised, however this can be divulged to a closed group (i.e. a mailing list or closed Facebook group);
  • An entry fee must not be charged.

Q: “So there will be films on in July and August?”

A: “Yes”

Q: “But you won’t be able to tell me what they are?”

A: “No. Well not on Facebook or on posters, but if you are signed up to our mailing list we’ll be able to”

Q: “Hang on, is this just a shameless tactic to get more people signed up to your mailing list?”

A: “Did we mention that the films are free?”

Joking aside, we will only ever use your contact details to keep you informed about Mearns Community Cinema related events or information. We will keep these details secure and will not pass them to anyone else. As a not-for-profit community group one of our aims is to reach as many people in the community as possible so that they can enjoy and influence our events. If at any point you no longer want to hear from the group you can click the Unsubscribe button at the bottom of one of the emails and you will be completely removed from our mailing list.

We’ll be announcing the July and August film showing dates on Facebook and including the actual titles in the next newsletter. Obviously we’ll be picking popular titles to put on, not obscure Norwegian found-footage mockumentaries about chasing mythical trolls (more’s the pity), so even if you fancy taking pot luck and just turning up on the night then they shouldn’t disappoint.

Something we will be able to tell everyone about, and will go out of our way to do so, is that plans are in full swing to host the inaugural Mearns Film Festival in early September. Provisional dates of Wed 5th – Sun 9th September have been pencilled in, with more details to follow as and when they are confirmed. As ever, for updates keep an eye on our Facebook page or sign up to our mailing list by emailing MearnsCommunityCinema@gmail.com or adding your name to the list at one of our showings.

Finally, we have a couple of stalwarts of the cinema group leaving us after the summer. You may have seen Fraser and Connor toiling away at one of the many showings that they have helped put on during their tenure as part of the committee. Their enthusiasm and hard work will be sorely missed so we will be on the lookout for new members. So if a quarterly insight into the workings of Mearns Community Cinema is simply not enough for you and you fancy being involved in the group or even just the film festival then we’d love to hear from you. Similarly if you’re expecting to have any film obsessed teenagers hanging around the house this summer and, in the nicest possible way, want to get rid of them for the odd evening then send them our way!

Jamie Leigh

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