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Creative Cinema in East Durham

Looking to set up a film club, society or community cinema? Already run one but want to build on your activities or hear some advice on equipment? You’ve come to the right place!

Part of our role as East Durham Creates is to explore how to give local people more choices and support to put on arts and creative activities. You have told us that you are interested in film, digital and cinema, so we have partnered up with two fantastic cinema providers, Cinegi Arts&Film and Cinema For All. Working together we’ll make sure East Durham have access to high quality cinema screening equipment and films.

We are now the first hosts of Cinema For All equipment in the North East. You can hire equipment from our office in Peterlee and start up your own community cinema. Find out how to hire cinema equipment below!



Cost of hiring the cinema equipment

Equipment hire is free to full members for an initial test screening and after that £25 per screening for members and £40 per screening for non-members. Hire for non-volunteer led groups or commercial groups is £65.

If you would like to get the discounted screen hire, as shown above, the cost of becoming a Cinema For All member is £95 per year. However, if you are a new community cinema membership costs £65 in your first year and £80 in your second year. Find out more here.

To hire cinema equipment, or to find out more, please contact Cinema For All on;
Tel: 0114 221 0314 / Email:



Choosing your film

Cinegi Arts&Film enables venues – from village hall to pub, from arts centre to library – to become a ‘cinema’, bringing the best of the arts on film directly to local communities.

The system is simple and easy to use and works as a download over standard broadband internet. It includes titles from major arts organisations such as the Royal Opera House, the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre Live, Shakespeare’s Globe alongside content from Britain on Film and the BFI.

The standard minimum price you pay when you book a single screening is £99 (inc VAT), though time limited offers are sometimes available at discounted prices. Full details of pricing can be found here.

Venues in East Durham can charge from £2 per ticket for local residents of from £4 per ticket for people visiting from outside the area. Find out more about using Cinegi Arts&Film in your venue here.


The Cinema For All Booking Scheme features over 800 films, representing some of the very best of world cinema, British films, independent features, documentaries and crossover titles.

Most of their titles are available for just £85 per screening with no hidden fees or VAT. They don’t even charge you for postage and packing – it’s free! All they ask is that you return any discs to Cinema For All after your screening. They also have a selection of films from MPLC, offered on a screen-from-your-own-copy, commercial basis with a minimum guarantee of just £85 (no VAT).



Licensing your film – it’s a legal matter!

A good place to begin is by using the Cinema for All Booking Scheme – a distribution scheme created especially for community cinemas and film societies. It’s available to Cinema for All Members and Associates at a flat rate of £85 each, with no additional charges or fees. It’s one of the cheapest and easiest ways to book both commercial and non-commercial licences. Similarly, if you hire a filmed theatre, opera or dance performance through Cinegi Arts&Film the cost of hire includes your screening license.

Finally, you can arrange your licences with the distributor of the film you would like to screen. The Filmbank and MPLC are the best starting points, as they each have a huge catalogue of titles to choose from and licences to purchase. This is also the way to license your film if you are screening your film from a DVD you’ve purchased.

Which license you choose depends on the type of screening you are organising. The options include;

Single Title Screening Licence

Public Video Screening License

MPLC’s Umbrella Licence

Each one is unique and you will need to explore the options based on your cinema screening style. If you would like to discuss the options, please contact Cinema For All on 0114 2210314 or


How much is it really going to cost me?

We want to help support groups and organisations in starting their own community cinema screenings. However, we understand that the cost of licenses can be off-putting and the risk of making a loss on the event a worry. To help this, we want to be as transparent as possible. Here is an example budget for a community cinema screening, to give you an idea of the costs involved in community cinema events. All of costs below are approximate.


Example budget: Cinema For All member

Equipment hire (Cinema For All member rate)  £                                                             25.00
Cost of film hire through Cinema For All, inc. Single Title Screening Licence  £                                                             85.00
Cost of food and drink to sell  £                                                             10.00
Cost of raffle prizes  £                                                             10.00
 Total expense  £                                                           130.00
40 tickets @ £2 each  £                                                             80.00
Food and drink  £                                                             25.00
25 raffle tickets @ £1 per strip  £                                                             25.00
Total income  £                                                           130.00


Example budget: Non-member

Equipment hire (non-member rate)  £                                                             40.00
Cost of film hire through Cinema For All, inc. Single Title Screening Licence  £                                                             85.00
Cost of food and drink to sell  £                                                             10.00
Cost of raffle prizes  £                                                             10.00
Total expense  £                                                           145.00
40 tickets @ £2 each  £                                                             80.00
Food and drink  £                                                             25.00
25 raffle tickets @ £1 per strip  £                                                             25.00
 Total income  £                                                           130.00




We want your feedback!

Are you interested in this opportunity, but feel there are barriers stopping you from making it happen? Please give us feedback on this hire scheme, including suggestions of resources that would make setting up a community cinema club more realistic in your community setting. Feel free to email your thoughts to, or give our office a call on 0191 518 5073 to speak to a member of EDC staff.


Step-by-step guide to hiring our equipment

We host equipment at our East Durham Creates office at Community House, Yoden Road, Peterlee, SR8 5DP.  To book the equipment follow the steps below;

  1. Call Cinema For All on 0114 221 0314 to check the availability of the equipment on your required dates.
  2. Complete the Hire Agreement & Equipment Booking Form and make payment via Paypal at the end of the form.
  3. Get in touch with Maria at East Durham Creates to arrange collection (see below).

Collecting and dropping off the equipment;

Equipment collection and return times are between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday and between 9am and 4.30pm on Friday.

Please contact Maria via email or phone 0191 518 5073 after confirmation of hire to check dates and times for drop-off and pick up.

The best place to park to collect the equipment is in the Community House car park next to the building. The car park is only a short walk from the main entrance. Please be aware you will need to carry all of the equipment from the East Durham Creates office to your car and vice versa, so we would recommend bringing someone along to help.

When you arrive please ask reception to direct you towards East Durham Creates.


Setting up the equipment… what does it look like?

See the documents below for information about setting up and using the equipment. You can also watch a video of a similar kit being set up here. If you have any questions you can get in touch with Alice at or on 0114 221 0314.

Equipment Specification List East Durham

Equipment Set Up Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Projector Screen Instructions



Advice and resources

Whether you have been screening films in your community for many years, or are just thinking about setting up, Cinema For All can support you along every step of your journey. They offer much of their advice and support for free, as well as providing a huge range of additional services and benefits for their members. Below are some useful resources to get your community cinema started;


Starting up

Want to start screening films in your community but need to know more? In this area you’ll find information on venue licensing, where to source your films, insurance advice and much, much more to help you on your way.

How to start a community cinema

Ways of operating



To learn more about the sorts of equipment you’ll need at your community cinema.

Equipment Advice for Community Cinemas

Watch a video of about how to set up the cinema equipment here.


Choosing your film programme 

Programming is at the heart of every community cinema and film society. The films that you choose to share with your audience is one of the most important decisions you’ll make – whether you come to the decision alone, or as part of team.

Programming and Audience Development

Short films

Sourcing film licences

Read the Cinegi Arts&Film section below to find out how to hire top quality theatre, dance and music through their new digital distribution platform.



Cinema For All are committed to providing a range of materials and resources to help you provide a better experience for audiences with disabilities. In this section you will find information on making your film screenings more accessible to a range of audiences.

Making your venue accessible for people with hearing loss

Screenings for people living with dementia and memory loss