The idea is ingenious: show films that are hard to find and offer them to an audience who is ready and willing to see the strange. A subscription system keeps the cost low – you’re paying for the pleasure of being part of a cinema society rather than a single screening of a film.
But Kinema, the film club that has implemented this system to great effect, is soon to end, with founders citing a lack of time to keep the project running at its full potential. “We've been doing Kinema screenings on and off since 2010 and running the Microcinema for the past 18 months, [and] we're all ready and eager try our hand at new projects,” says Liam O'Donoghue, one of the three directors. “But I wouldn't be surprised if we resurrect Kinema in yet another form somewhere down the line.”
The subscription model remains for October, their final month. A mere $10 for the entire month is petty change compared to regular cinemas, and certainly provides a more varied viewing experience.
October also looks to be even more eclectic than usual: “We've invited all our members to submit films they wish we had gotten around to showing,” says O’Donoghue. “We want this final month to be programmed by the members who've been coming to our screenings for the last 18 months. We've been incredibly lucky to have met the members we have – a cast of passionate film lovers from all walks of life. I have a suspicion the programming suggestions we get will put our own programs to shame!”
While it’s sad to see an idea built on cultural curiosity come to an end, it’s an experience which Donoghue and his colleagues can carry over and apply to new endeavours. “At Kinema we managed to do a lot with a little. With only modest contributions from the three (sometimes four) of us, we were able to open and run a truly independent cinema in Sydney for 18 months,” he reflects. “We've learnt a great deal about running a small arts space and the specifics of film and video, and look forward to taking that experience with us into future projects.”
365 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt
Doors 7pm, films 7.30pm
Subscriptions on the door