We caught one of our directors, Steve Thompson, in a spare minute to have a quick chat about TT Cinema, London’s latest independent cinema, nestled on Shoreditch’s Kingsland Road.
What’s the idea behind the Cinema?
It was all quite an organic process. One of our event organisers, Rebekka, was working on a concept not too long ago in our back room with a screening of ‘Letters from Baghdad’. We talked about getting some proper seating for it, instead of just wooden benches, so Ali looked into it and actually managed to source some really interesting chairs from an old cinema in Rhosneigr in north Wales. We bought them, built them last summer, and since then they’ve just been sitting in storage for the past few months. So there was Ali building these cinema chairs in our other space in Holloway while I was building a crazy golf course at the same time, which was pretty funny. Since then we’ve done a few little tests and pilots in there, holding meetings and small screening events, but this year we’ve really decided to up our game. We’ve now upgraded the whole sound system in there. John Robinson (of the Umbrella Project) and I worked to try and spec out a good set-up. We managed to get some Dolby surround sound, and upgraded the visual and media facilities. After putting in the hard work I think we can be proud to call it a screening room under the brand ‘TT Cinema’. So yeah, we’re hyped.
“So there was Ali building these cinema chairs in our other space in Holloway while I was building a crazy golf course at the same time, which was pretty funny.”
What sort of applications do you envisage for the new space?
So we’ve got a few different avenues we’re looking to go down. We’re looking to do listings, starting off monthly – because we’ve already got plenty of events going on in the building and we don’t want to go too wild to begin with. The basic idea is to show you guys some classic films, films we love, and serve some classic cocktails to go alongside them. Initially, we’re planning on putting on one screening for the general public, starting with The Big Lebowski, then Back to the Future, followed by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. We’ve got industry nights planned too on the last Sunday of every month, which came from Ali and Saša’s idea to have somewhere that the industry could come and enjoy some drinks and a movie on their day off. We had a soft launch screening of The Big Lebowski on 25th March and FAIR. helped us out with the White Russians which was great. But the first ‘proper’ one will be Back to the Future with The Naked Grouse on 27th April, which should be a quality night. I guess what we’re really hoping to do, which we’re quite excited about, is to eventually have it available as a screening space for more independent projects. So we’re pretty open to everything from documentaries to music videos, or even a few independent film releases. It should all be really cool.
“We’re pretty open to everything from documentaries to music videos, or even a few independent film releases. It should all be really cool.”
What’s the future plan over the coming weeks, months, and even years?
We want to firstly make sure that the experience is really good. We’re going to start building in some packages, where you can actually get cocktails, food, or even additional entertainment included in the ticket price. The rough idea is that guests will be welcomed through the doors of our liquor store, before being led down into the Cellar bar for a drinks reception, followed by the screening itself. Again, it was quite an organic process getting it all set up and I think it’s going to be a similar process going forward. I’m quire excited about doing a friends & family World Cup experience in June and July, and then the idea is to just go from there, really. We’re always looking for suggestions, feedback and inspiration so if anyone has any good ideas on how to use the space just give us a shout!