‘Movie magic’ is delighting audiences in Castletown after the Castle Community Cinema received a Celton Manx Recognition award this year.
Screenings are held in the town’s civic hall and proving popular with all ages, says the cinema’s founder Ali de Backer. ‘Receiving this award has been a real boost for the cinema and for the people of Castletown. It’s meant I’ve not only been able to buy the licence we needed, but also pay for some new releases and promotional banners, as well as offer complimentary soft drinks and sweets.
‘I’ve bought Disney’s Moana, the Secret Life of Pets and the original Beauty and the Beast which went down really well. I want as many people to come and enjoy the cinema as possible, so I don’t make a charge, which is a big saving for families, but naturally I’d always welcome donations.
‘As it’s a community cinema I want to screen the kind of films audiences want to see, so I ask them to choose a theme and let me know on Facebook. What’s great is that people have really got behind the theme idea and often come dressed in costume, such as when I ran a Star Wars film. I’ve also held a James Bond-themed evening when I screened Live and Let Die.
‘I’m always looking at how to widen the cinema’s appeal, such as showing vintage films and holding screenings aimed at different generations and abilities. For example, I’ve learned that certain types of film are beneficial to people with dementia, so I’ll be looking at developing that aspect.
‘I’ve also been invited to serve as vice-chairman of Castletown’s Chamber of Commerce, which will be a great way to promote links between the cinema and local businesses. It’s also encouraging that other charities in the area are now looking at using the cinema for their own fundraising events, so thanks to Celton Manx and the Recognition award the cinema is giving a real boost to community life in Castletown.’
Celton Manx executive director Bill Mummery said: ‘Our Recognition programme is about investing in charitable initiatives that have the potential to benefit the broadest cross section of the community. Ali, with her drive, vision and obvious love of film, is achieving exactly that by providing Castletown with a cinema that caters to all ages and all tastes at no cost to the audience. We are therefore pleased to have made this Recognition award to Ali who is clearly putting the “community” into Castle Community Cinema to great effect.’
Recognition is the corporate social responsibility programme of Celton Manx that aims to give heightened visibility to local charities and not-for-profit organisations, in particular those with limited resources for promoting and developing their services.
In 2017 Celton Manx made 27 Recognition awards.
Celton Manx head of business development Mike Stanton is pictured with Castle Community Cinema founder Ali de Backer and some young film-goers in Hop tu Naa mood. Photo Matt Mosur