Filmhouse – Open the Doors!

by Filmhouse in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Total raised £305,166

Gift Aid
+ est. £60590.50
£350,000 stretch target 27 days left
101% 2944 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 20th August 2024 at 9:00pm

We aim to refurbish and re-launch Filmhouse – opening the doors to a new chapter for Edinburgh's essential independent cultural cinema.

by Filmhouse in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Open the Doors – we will!

The Crowdfunder has been a huge success and has enabled Filmhouse to look forward to welcoming you back, sometime in the autumn.

It is clear from the constant flow of donations that people want to support the future of Filmhouse, so we have decided to let the Crowdfunder run on beyond the April 30th deadline we'd been working to. 

It is a really good mechanism for enabling donations to be made, so it makes sense to keep it open until such time as we have a new website set up where people can support Filmhouse through donations in the future (or book tickets!). 

If you are here with a view to support us, please do. Any additional funds we can raise here will make a real difference to the project as we need to make sure we have enough funds to cover all the costs to be incurred as we ramp up the new, wider Filmhouse organisation. It would be great to hit the £300K target.

Do tell your friends, family and colleagues – who may have been meaning to donate – to pop on here and give what they can. 

If you are a UK taxpayer, you can increase the value of your donation by 25% by adding Gift Aid. 

If you are considering a donation over £5000, we'd welcome a conversation with you.

Contact us on [email protected]

For more information (including FAQs) and to join our mailing list, please visit We'll send news and updates via our mailing list and also via Crowdfunder to anyone who donates – remember to stay 'opted in' for updates!

Thank you!


Recently we heard that we have been successful in our bid for Levelling Up Community Ownership Funding. As a result, we can now proceed confidently towards our goal of re-opening the doors of Filmhouse as Edinburgh’s unique cultural cinema.

Due to the success in reaching the original amount of £250K we increased the Crowdfunder goal to £300K a few weeks ago. The funds raised so far got us where we are now because they are part of the required match funding for the Levelling Up grant. 

Now that we know that most of the capital funds are in place, the new target of £300K is a perfect goal. Reaching that level will ensure we can cover all the costs required to re-open – such as a launch campaign, staff recruitment, computers, etc.

All the money raised here will form a really important part of the overall story in opening the doors again.

We have also been supported City of Edinburgh Council and by Screen Scotland/ Creative Scotland with essential development funds since the project began. 

The goal is to open a new Filmhouse that continues to deliver the same sheer diversity of film programming as was ever the case; the most exceptional range of cultural film all year round – in a revitalised cinema building.

The owners of the building, Caledonian Heritable, are making a significant investment in much needed repairs to the fabric of the building and we anticipate agreeing a lease early in May so we can progress the interior refurbishment works immediately after that. We hope to open the doors again in the autumn.

The challenge is for Filmhouse to thrive for the long term. We plan to create an environment that people want to spend their time in and keep coming back to. We want to make sure that Filmhouse is also a sustainable business so we need to get off on the right foot. 

The full scope of the refurbishment will see a refit of the cinemas with new seating and more leg room in all three screens; improved access around the building, particularly to Cinema 2; improved acoustics and heating/ventilation in the cinemas; renovation of the public toilets; and refurbishment of the Café-Bar and foyer areas to increase space and light. We’ll also be prioritising energy efficiency as part of a programme of future proofing. And now we have the funds from Community Ownership Fund we’ll create a small fourth screen that will transform Filmhouse’s potential for the future.

The ambition is to deliver a comprehensively appealing all round customer experience that will make Filmhouse a venue that can better attract new audiences, as well as providing a more comfortable place for the loyal audiences we know are eager to return to one of Edinburgh’s true cultural institutions.

And on this basis, Edinburgh can have its unique cultural cinema, its home for film festivals, its friendly community hub, its 80+ film titles a month – many of which will not screen at any other cinema in the city – its top-flight technical presentation, its centrally located welcoming café-bar, all in 88 Lothian Road.

Filmhouse cinema was known for presenting the most ambitious and diverse cinema programme in the UK outside the BFI Southbank, as well as a long-established education programme, which will continue. It operated successfully at 88 Lothian Road from 1979 until October 2022, when it closed due to its parent company, the CMI, going into administration.

We are a group of former colleagues who have formed a new company, Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Ltd. We are armed with a viable, long term business plan to restore and improve Edinburgh’s unique cultural cinema. Similar to the original Filmhouse, for which serving the public good through cultural and educational activity was fundamental, the new company has charitable status.

We have the support of the City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland/Screen Scotland, who have provided initial development funding in anticipation of a long-term lease and reopening.

Heeding the cry to save Filmhouse, many people have given their time and energy in different ways, driven by the belief that it is unthinkable for a city such as Edinburgh not to have a cinema like Filmhouse. Since November 2022 a huge amount of work has gone on in pursuit of re-opening.

Help us open the doors again! 

Thank You.

For more information (including FAQs) and to join our mailing list, please visit We'll send news and updates via our mailing list and also via Crowdfunder to anyone who donates – remember to stay 'opted in' for updates!



In the event that we are unable to raise sufficient funds through Crowdfunder and from other sources to re-open Filmhouse, all pledges made will be refunded in full, including those made on this Crowdfunder. If the overall project can move forward, then we will use funds donated via this Crowdfunder whether or not the Crowdfunder target level is achieved. [For the avoidance of doubt, all pledges made to the previous Crowdfunder that was run in Nov/Dec 2022 were refunded in full to the donors, back in December 2022. ]

Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Ltd. is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland SC753872; and a registered charity in Scotland, SC052643, regulated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). 

Directors: James Rice, Rod White, David Boyd, Ginnie Atkinson and Mike Davidson.

Additional information about Filmhouse is available on our website.

Creative Scotland’s film arm Screen Scotland, who with Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council have been working to secure a future for cultural cinema in the city across the months since the CMI’s collapse, are collaborating with Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Ltd. on the plans for the new era at Filmhouse. 

The Café-bar would be operated by Filmhouse, not, as rumoured, by Caledonian Heritable. Profits will be covenanted to the charity.

We hope that Edinburgh International Film Festival would once again make its home in Filmhouse.

Filmhouse is a cinema with a mission and a place where all are welcome. 



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£25 or more

Website Thanks

If you wish, your name will be included on a list of supporters on the new Filmhouse website.

£50 or more

On-screen thanks

If you wish, your name will be included in the thank you list to be presented before every screening in the regular Filmhouse programme for at least a year after opening.

£125 or more

Pre-launch Screening Invitation

You will be invited to attend a screening at the newly renovated Filmhouse before the venue opens to the public. Selecting this reward will also include all of the rewards above.

£1,500 or more

Seat Dedication

You will have one new cinema seat dedicated to you (or to an other person of your choosing). Selecting this reward will also include all of the rewards above.

£5,000 or more

Private Screening

You will have the option of a private 'bring your friends' screening at some point during the first year of operations. Selecting this reward will also include all of the rewards above.

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