Church, Community Cinema
Updated: Nov 21, 2019
We are living in digital times when movies are a massive part of our everyday life.
Unfortunately, in mainstream media, there are very few Christian movies or books available. Even actively devoted Christians are no able to name some Christian film. Some would probably mention "Nativity story" or "Passion of Christ". Few people can say about movies with Christian values. Movies about today's life stories where characters are Christian and deal with the everyday crises as we do.
Some of the Christian movies, like "Gods, not Dead", "Faith like potatoes" or "Courageous" in big part created who I am today.
First, I thought about Christian Movie Club, when I noticed how many of my friends didn't watch the movies that were so significant for me. I have spend a lot of time doing research and trying to find so many things. I found 1 page of actually useful content that would tell step by step, how to run church cinema.
Please keep in mind that to create a video or movie, every movie maker has to invest a lot of time, money, and effort. We often see that movies have high profits, but rarely we know what the investment was. To give you some idea, know that if producer creates ten films and only one of them is a hit that brings 100 million dollars profit, the rest of the movies bring much less or even loose.
Buying a license to display movies is no different than renting a car.
If a company lent it out a car with the intent of earning on it, and a person takes a car without permission and paying for it, then the person stole it.
The same is in the case of movies. If the person displays a movie to the public without producer knowledge, the person stole the license for the movie.
Many of the Christian producers, directors, and actors, lost their reputation in the mainstream film industry, because of Christian affiliation. That is a cross that they have to carry for being Christian. Us, paying for a license for the movie, is a not only right thing but also is a form of blessing others and recognizing their ministry.
In each country, there are different licensing bodies, and you need to discover for yourself what your needs are. If you are in the UK, read below.
The license in the UK and US
If you are a functioning church, you already should have a CCLI license for your church. If you don't have it yet, go to the CCLI website (US website) to find more and get one. Not only you need it for service anyway, whether you display movies or not, but it is also the cheapest option for movie licenses. For just a couple of extra pounds, you will also get CVLI in a package. That is an umbrella license that covers a range of distributors, but not all of them. This license does not cover some movies like "War Room". In that case, you will need to get a one-time screening license.
Here you will find a list of UK distributors covered by a license that we have purchased:
UK list of distributors
And this is a link to buy a license for the one-time screening of the movie that is not covered by our church license. It cost about £100 every time you want to display a movie.
Below you will find links to a couple of lists from different distributors:
Unless you paid for a commercial license, you are not allowed to charge for tickets.
Our Licence allows asking for donations for refreshments and other things that are not related to the movie.
Suggested donation would be £3 for some drinks, sweets, ice cream etc.
Lighting in a room
In our church, we can not control lighting. There are huge windows, without curtains. The only solution was to play movies after dawn. Just check in google when the dusk comes in your location.
What to buy
In our church, we just got a projector of eBay. It was only a couple hundred pounds (average retail price was over £1000). But you can get a perfectly viable projector for that price on Amazon.
Links are below: