#LoveLightHouse Support Our Future

by Light House in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, United Kingdom

#LoveLightHouse Support Our Future

£4,440

raised so far

+ est. £862.75 Gift Aid

114

supporters

You helped us get through our COVID shutdown, now we're calling on you to help with our vision for 2022 - we're so much more than a cinema!

by Light House in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Welcome to Light House 

If you've ever passed through Wolverhampton, there's a good chance you'll have been past Light House. We're an independent cinema arts charity and café bar housed in the iconic Chubb Buildings - a former lock factory two minutes' walk from the brand new train station, bus station and soon-to-be metro stop. 

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                                      Light House's iconic exterior 

Take a peek inside and you'll see the wonderful cobbled courtyard, with its beautiful glass roof making it perfect for events in all weathers. There's our café bar serving hot drinks and snacks that you're welcome to take into the cinema with you. We've got two gallery spaces, in which we proudly exhibit the work of local artists and organisations. And, of course, there are our two cinema screens. Our downstairs screen has a capacity of 242, while our upstairs Studio Cinema offers a more intimate experience with 67 seats. 

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                                             Our main auditorium

What we do, and what we want to do

Whilst we pride ourselves on being a cinema with a fantastic offer of mainstream and independent films, we're so much more than that! 

1638963928_bbc_asian_network_comedy_festival.jpg                 Our packed auditorium during one of our comedy events

Our auditoriums have hosted comedy nights from big names such as Darren Harriot, Barbara Nice, Gina Yashere and local legend Gary Powndland, Boxstock - the UK cigar box guitar festival, as well as conferences including TEDx Wolverhampton and the Arts Council's Creative People and Places

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   The courtyard during Arts Council's Creative People and Places conference 

As well as hosting weddings, parties and vintage fairs, the courtyard was recently used by the BBC as a venue for a regional heat of the BBC New Comedy awards, but is also regularly home to music nights such as our legendary Light Bar reunions and our All Hands on Decks vinyl nights. And that's just for starters...

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                        The courtyard arranged for a private hire event

We have a whole family of community groups that come into Light House to use our spaces, giving the place a fantastic buzz. We have regular Language Cafes covering French, German, Spanish and Italian, where you can just pop in for a chat to brush up on your skills or maybe learn some new ones. There's a Singing For Lung Health group which meets weekly and a knitting group that meet in the bar for a knit, drink and natter.

Challenges we've faced and overcome

It doesn't take much to imagine some of the issues facing cinemas since March 2020, and all the problems that arose as a result of our enforced closure due to Covid. We were so excited to welcome back audiences when we finally reopened in June 2021, but this in itself was not without complications. We had no working phone lines for the first month - not ideal when people are trying to book tickets! Social distancing meant our numbers - and therefore income - was limited. We also opened with a backdrop of the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Olympics all vying for people's attention. Cinemas across the country found it hard to compete with the first England team to reach a semi-final in years - not that we'd begrudge that, of course! 

It's now six months since we reopened. We're still here, and we've achieved so much with very few resources. Our community groups are returning and the numbers coming to the cinema are increasing. We were delighted to finally screen the latest Bond film after multiple delays, the first of the big blockbusters since lockdown. The courtyard has been bustling with the BBC New Comedy Awards and the first wedding party since we reopened. We've been championing women in film by becoming an F-Rated Cinema - highlighting women in the cinema industry, screening films by female directors and writers including Nia DaCosta (Candyman), Celine Schiamma (Petite Maman), and Eva Husson (Mothering Sunday).

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                         The BBC Comedy awards held in the courtyard

How you can help

There are so many exciting opportunities on the horizon for Light House. We're looking forward to our involvement with British Art Show 9, Deaffest 2022, the first Wolverhampton Film Festival, Wolverhampton Literature Festival and the arrival in the Chubb Buildings of the new Medicine Bakery (we're already concerned for our waistlines but very excited about potential partnership working). In addition to being positioned the heart of the new commercial district including the relocated Ministry of Housing Government department right next door. This Crowdfunder is aiming to safeguard our future in the short term, until we can make the most of these fantastic opportunities to promote Light House's brilliant facilities to a much wider audience. 

What your money will do

We're calling for support to uplift our income to bridge the gap until our revenue picks up again in 2022.  We've scaled back staffing and operating costs, however fixed overheads costs remain and with a dip in audiences our income is having to stretch so much further. After reaching record ticket sales in 2019, we were hit hard by the enforced closure in 2020/21 and current ticket sales remain well down on pre-pandemic levels. As our main source of income, this is affecting our ability to plan for the future. It's not just us facing this issue - cinemas across the country are experiencing similar changes in attendances, and certain audience demographics are reluctant to return as the pandemic continues. This report from the MetrixLab survey taken in October provides a deeper insight into the challenges cinemas still face. 

Your donations will help us continue to operate during this ongoing difficult period. The year ahead holds so much potential for Light House as a place to experience quality films, and to use as a city-centre community and cultural hub...but like all charities, we need your help to get there. 


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