Reopen & Reimagine The Cinema Museum

by Martin Humphries in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 2nd December 2020 we successfully raised £65,075 ( + est. £11693.50 Gift Aid ) with 1359 supporters in 49 days

You can help me reopen my lovely little Cinema Museum in a way that keeps people safe and makes them happy. Have a quick read of our story!

by Martin Humphries in London, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

As soon as we are able to reopen safely we want to say a big thank you to the people who looked after us all through COVID - we will use the additional funding to host free events for local: residents, NHS workers, carers, supermarket workers, council staff, emergency services, and volunteers - and we will employ a local young adult to come onboard to help - and to learn about running a museum, running events and running campaigns. If we are going to come out of COVID stronger and better, we want to take someone with us for the ride and we want to give a someone a chance to change their life! 


Ronald Grant and I set up The Cinema Museum (Lambeth/Southwark borders) over 35 years ago, on a shoestring, in one room with a small collection of well-loved cinematic stuff. Over time it has grown into a magnificent, unique and well loved collection that celebrates the social history of 'going to the cinema' - its an amalgam of artefacts, memorabilia, films, records, archives, posters, people, lives, memories, tears, fears and laughter - on and around the silver screen.



Ronald and I and our trustees and volunteers bring all this alive through tours, talks, Q&A evenings, events, performances, screenings, projects, and community celebrations. And it all happens in a beautiful Grade 2 listed building that was once home to Charlie Chaplin and his brother and mother (and nearly burned to the ground by our departed friend Michael Winner whilst he was filming here!). 


Its authentic, intriguing and fun. But it also has a serious side - we want the passion we have for our collections to be purposeful and have a positive impact on people's lives - so we offer up our spaces, collections and volunteer time to support positive social change. We support documentary makers, film-makers, artists, students, universities, community groups, local charities, volunteers, carers - and work that strives to resolve social and environmental problems. Despite being a charity, we have always raised all our own funds, never relying on the public purse and up until COVID we raised 100% of our income from our events and activities. COVID has meant temporary closure for us - cutting off our income stream entirely with no notice - but we still have to pay all our bills and maintain this lovely grade 2 listed building. To date we have not qualified for any COVID emergency funding. You have heard of the organisations that have 'fallen through the net'? Well, that's us guys. But we are not complaining, well done to those who did and good luck to everyone - we are all mates in a crisis. If you think we can help you in any way then do get in touch - especially in you are in Lambeth or Southwark. But, back to me - I need to cover the costs of closure and I need to get my Museum back open. My collections are not really alive without your visits and neither really am I - so please be part of this with me and contribute what you can. It will mean the world to Ronald, me and all our brilliant volunteers. Thanks a million. And whilst we are thanking people - thank you to our great friend and photographer Francesco Zavattari (Studio Matitanera). Most importantly, I need to thank our two most impressive local residents, two fantastic supporters of The Cinema Museum AND two of the best actors this country has, Rory Kinnear and Toby Jones who were the first to step up and dig VERY DEEP to help kickstart our fundraising. So - come and join us - you'll be part of saving a unique and lovely thing and you'll be in the best possible company!



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

£20 or more

Social Media Thank You and Your Name up in Lights

leave your twitter tag on your comment and we'll put out a massive thank you and your name will be printed as a Crowdfunder Superstar in our 2021 collectors brochure

£5 or more


We will love you forever!

£10 or more

£10 Social Media Thank You!

leave your twitter tag on your comment and we'll put out a massive thank you

£30 or more

Free Drinks!

A free drink at the bar for you and your friend on your next visit to the Museum - just mention your name at the Box Office when you arrive and you'll get a massive thank you and your VIP bar drinks token.

£75 or more

92 of 250 claimed

Free tickets to our opening party event (date TBC)

Two tickets to our fabulous reopening party - welcome drinks, canapés and meet and mingle with our volunteers and celebrities. This is wonderful and joyful evening - we will be in touch with you with a formal invitation and dates as soon as we are able to reopen safely.

£120 or more

48 of 75 claimed

A private Tour of the Museum - with cakes!

A private museum tour for up to 6 people - visit our Museum and see our collection in your personal tour given by our Museum director - with a wonderful film shorts show and tea and cake - all perfectly orchestrated to imply with social distancing. We'll be in touch to fix your chosen dates once we are safely reopen. this option must be exercised by the end of July 2021.

£500 or more

7 of 15 claimed

Private Screening Party

Your own private, socially distanced screening for up to 6 people, in our beautiful vintage cinema - with a welcome talk from our Museum director, welcome drinks and your own personal usherette to care for your every need - and make sure everyone is happy and safe. This option must be exercised by the end of October 2021.

£1,000 or more

3 of 10 claimed

Exclusive Hire of our Museum

Host your own sparkling private 'socially distanced' event for family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, at The Cinema Museum (for up to 60 people). You will have the use of the whole Museum and the support of our team of volunteers who will help you plan your perfect event. This option must be exercised by the end of December 2021

£2,000 or more

Make up your own reward!

design your own reward! Our Museum Director will be in touch with you to overwhelm you with thanks - and to talk to you about how best we might say thank you (tickets, tours, use of the Museum, access to the collections - fly you to the moon!).

Got an idea like this?

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