Snacks Not Included

A film, TV and pop culture podcast

How to support your local cinema during the coronavirus pandemic

By on May 10, 2020

We need to support cinema during the coronavirus pandemic. Films have been cancelled from release whilst many other general releases are going straight to video on demand. During this time cinemas have remained closed at a cost in order to guarantee our safety during these trying times.

It’s an especially hard time on independent and charity run cinemas who may not have the ability to bounce back like larger chains.

The online streaming platform MUBI have set up a crowdfunder to help support cinemas in the UK impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, we’ll talk more about that at the end. In the meantime here are some of the things you can do to support your local cinema, as well as some of the interesting offerings during lockdown.


Arthouse Crouch End

arthouse crouch end
There are ways to support this independent cinema and theatre through the lockdown. You can purchase membership and donate to the cinema. Additionally you can sign up for their newsletter which give you a 15% discount code for Curzon Home Cinema and use their sign up for MUBI which gives you 3 months free on the platform.


British Film Institute
The cinema, charity and film funders the BFI have membership available to support them through lockdown. There are also opportunities to donate to the BFI and become a supporter.

The BFI have launched BFI at Home, an online platform of free films from the BFI National archives as well as the pay for on demand BFI Player.


Castle Cinema

Castle CInema
This crowdfunded independent cinema in Hackney are offering ways to support them during lockdown. They are offering membership and vouchers which will be valid for a year after they reopen. You can also make a charitable donation to their cinema additionally.

Their online store also has tote bags and DVDs for sale as well as holding an auction of films to raise money for the cinema.

Whilst where in lockdown you can also check their Twitter for staff picks of movies to watch from the comfort of your home.


Close-Up Cinema

close-up cinema
Close-Up is an arthouse cinema and resource centre for film culture/history with library of rare and classic films. You can support close up by buying their membership, making a donation which goes direct to staff. You can also pre-buy cinema tickets and use their link for 3 months free MUBI membership.


Curzon Cinemas

curzon cinemas
This chain of independent arthouse cinemas have membership available to purchase. They are also working with distributers to bring Curzon Home Cinema – a streaming service to watch arthouse cinema from home, including live Q&As from directors and stars.


Deptford Cinema

deptford cinema
Deptford Cinema is a volunteer run, not-for-profit, community cinema, art gallery, and occasional music venue. At the time of opening in 2014 it was the borough’s only functioning cinema and is another favourite of Snacks Not Included. The best way to support the cinema during lockdown is to provide a PayPal donation via their website.

Deptford Cinema have a variety of content available during lockdown. They have a film quiz each week available via their Instagram to win a pair of tickets for when they reopen. They have also launched an on demand service of great local, student and indie short and feature films online, curated by their programmers.


Genesis Cinema

Genesis Cinema
Independent cinema Genesis in the East End has always been supporting locals with its special pricing for seniors and the unemployed. In order to help them during coronavirus you help them by purchasing vouchers which will be redeemable when they reopen.


Institute of Contemporary Arts

Institute of Contemporary Arts
The independently funded charity the ICA are accepting donations through their website to support them during coronavirus.

During the lockdown they are releasing the ICA daily, a daily list of recommended reading, viewing, listening and more from the ICA’s curatorial team.


Lexi Cinema

lexi cinema
Lexi Cinema is a not for profit, independent cinema run by volunteers in North West London. 100% of their profits to The Sustainability Institute, a pioneering South African charity dedicated to changing lives. You can support the Lexi by making a donation and signing up to MUBI using their link.

Through the lockdown Lexi are bringing you Lexi In Your Living Room. It is a virtual programme of film as well as commentary and film chat through their website and social media platforms.


Phoenix Cinema

phoenix cinema
This East Finchley independent community cinema was first built in 1910. The Phoenix is a charity and not for profit. You can support them by making a donation, buying a membership or a gift voucher.


The Prince Charles Cinema
The last of the true independents in the West End, the Prince Charles Cinema has for long been a favourite of Snacks Not Included. You can support the cinema through purchasing a membership and vouchers which will be valid from when they reopen. The Prince Charles Cinema webstore also has tote bags, t-shirts and DVDs for sale.

In true Prince Charles Cinema fashion their social media is full of activity whilst in lockdown. They have a ‘recreate the frame’ competition going on where you recreate a frame from a famous movie to win prizes. There are the Prince Charles Cinema oscars, a weekly crowd voted best oscar winning film that has been shown at the cinema. They also have their own podcast and Spotify staff picked playlists to check out. We love the PCC.


Regents Street Cinema

Regent Street Cinema
The Regents Street Cinema is drenched in history and was the home to the first ever motion picture shown in the UK. During the lockdown the Regents Street Cinema are offering a 3 month free membership to use when they reopen which comes with free tickets and a 3 month free trial of the video on demand platform MUBI.


The Rich Mix

Rich Mix
This community arts hub cinema and live music venue are run as a charity. You can support the Rich Mix through lockdown by purchasing a membership and making a donation to the charity.


Rio Cinema

Rio Cinema
This converted art deco picture palace in Dalston is run as non profit charity and needs our support. There are ways to support Rio during the lockdown. You can purchase a special donor membership which will give you a year and half membership from when they reopen as well as 4 free tickets and your name on the donor wall. You can purchase gift cards and make a donation to the cinema.


MUBI UK Cinema Fund

As mentioned earlier, MUBI, the online streaming service and film distributor, has created a UK Cinemas Fund to help support cinemas across the UK impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK Cinemas Fund has been started with a £10,000 donation from MUBI, and the campaign aims to raise £100,000 to help support independent cinemas and film festivals across the UK who are facing severe financial hardship as a result of the ongoing closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The total raised will be donated to the BFI FAN COVID-19 Resilience Fund, which was set up this month by the BFI and its UK-wide BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) to offer critical relief and business continuity to exhibitors across the UK.

The campaign ends on the 25th May and you can donate to it at this link –

Stay home, stay safe and support cinema during the coronavirus pandemic. Snacks Not Included will be back with more soon.

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