How to Set Up an Independent Cinema in 2024

Have you always wanted to set up your independent cinema? While there are plenty of large-scale cinema brands across the country, there is still an appetite for small, one-off screens, as film fans turned out to see both big-budget blockbusters and short, Australian indie movies in 2019.

Should you be thinking of setting up on your own, it is worth factoring in every possibility and considering every process to help make it a success. Here is a look at what to be aware of when you take the plunge and set up an independent cinema of your own.

Have a plan


Before you can begin setting up your cinema, it is good to have an idea of what you want it to be. How many screens do you envisage? What sort of films will you show?

While these are the big questions that will need refining, starting with an overarching vision for what you want your cinema to be can be the most useful – and valuable – jumping-off point. From there, you can drill down into the details.

Expect the unexpected

However, while having a picture of your cinema in your mind and the goals that you would like to fulfill, you must have an open account. Sometimes the biggest success stories are based on things that evolved organically, rather than by events that were mapped out on a granular level.

When it comes to the world of cinema, this is especially true. The projects that do well come about after a series of fortune instances.

Keeping these essential points in mind can be beneficial when you set off on your independent cinema journey. Once you feel ready, you can follow this step-by-step guide to help you realize your vision.

1.Venue and location


The first step is to work out of the place that you want to house your cinema. A popular and potentially cost-effective way to do this is to reimagine existing buildings.

Please take a look at what it is available to rent. Is there a former pub that would benefit from a new lease of life? Perhaps there is an old church hall that could be repurposed. If you do find an excellent venue that could work for your project, you will need to check that it is accessible for your customers, especially if you are repurposing an older building.

With this in mind, new venues can be just as useful. That is because they tend to come with all the facilities you need, such as ramps, food serving facilities, and toilets.

Also, make sure you consider the location when you conduct your search. If you find the perfect venue, but it isn’t effortless to get to, or it is located in a remote part of town, you might not attract the audience numbers you need to make your enterprise viable.

2. Financing

How will you fund your cinema? The rent for the venue is likely to be a considerable expense, and you may have to pay business rates along with monthly utility bills to cover the cost of the electricity.

You will also need to pay for licenses. These will allow you to show the films you want to show in your cinema. There are several places where you may need to go to get these licenses. For example, Roadshow PPL represents big names such as Walt Disney and Paramount, while Amalgamated Movies and Screenrights could also be organizations that you need to contact.

You will need to find the funding for all of this before you can begin showing screenings. To do this, you could speak to friends and family, use some of your savings or consider crowdfunding.

3. Equipment


Getting the equipment right is crucial. You will need a screen and a projector, to begin with. Research digital projectors to do this.

Should you dream of keeping things authentic, it is possible to shop around for suitable analog film projectors. These can be especially effective if you want to play classic movies.

Cables are another part of the equipment list. You will need several to power your screen and projector, along with clamps to keep them safe and tucked away. Cables are widely available, and it is worth researching heavy-duty clamps and clips by suppliers such as RS Components.

4. Additional extras

In addition to the screen room, a good indie cinema will serve food and drinks. Whether you want to have a full-blown café or a small snack outlet serving popcorn, this is a significant consideration.

Once you have a clear idea of the task at hand, it is possible to create a fantastic cinema for locals and visitors alike.

About Henrietta Milanovska