It is not often that a new cinema opens in London, least of all one that is specifically designed to show 35mm and 16mm celluloid-based films alongside digital. But thanks to the Close-Up Film Centre, East London should soon be getting just such a institution. Based for nearly a decade on London's Brick Lane, the Close-Up Centre is a hub of films and film information, containing a huge library of British and foreign films (over 19,000 titles) with various membership packages on offer to get access to this treasure trove. Aside from the library, the Centre also holds film screenings and runs the online publication Vertigo Magazine.
Over a year ago Close-up launched a funding drive with a £40,000 target to help complete its planned new cinema and film centre, which are nearing completion. Donations are still being taken.
The repertory cinema will cover the entire history of the medium, as well as presenting auteur cinema and radical new artists' films and videos. Close-Up will continue to offer 16mm and 35mm reel-to-reel as well as digital projection- a rare thing in these days. The small cinema will have 40 seats, wheelchairs access, and will be equipped with DCI compliant digital projection (DCP), reel-to-reel 35mm, 16mm, DV, Beta SP etc, and a 5.1 surround sound system.There will also be a cafe for relaxing, and for meetings with directors and filmmakers in post screening discussion.
Jenny Sadler from the Close-Up Centre had this to say on the progress so far:
"As you are aware Close-Up are soon to open a new repertory cinema in the heart of Shoreditch, covering the entire history of the medium as well as presenting auteur cinema and radical new artists' film and video. Having already secured our 16mm, digital DCP and 35mm projectors, we are fully equipped to host a unique and diverse programme.
The redevelopment of the 1800’s workhouse on Sclater Street, just off Brick Lane, is well underway with the conversion seeing two properties bridged together to house our Film Library, Café and state-of-the-art 40 seat cinema. We are all set to open the new Library, cafe and bar space in November, and following shortly on from that we will have the grand opening of the cinema early next year."