Community Business Weekend 2019 – Star and Shadow Cinema

Welcome to the Star & Shadow Cinema. We are
a volunteer run cinema and venue space based in Newcastle upon Tyne. There’s a venue, a
cafe, a cinema, and because we’d built the infrastructure of the cinema in the old space
it was sort of a natural progression to then go right then we’re going to build it again,
and partly I think that’s cost, but partly that’s what we’re about. It’s about learning
and doing, and learning the things that we want to do. So how do you build something.
That also meant we got a lot of training opportunities for our volunteers. If you come and volunteer
with us you can programme films, you can put gigs on, you can run activist groups, or talking
groups, and you can learn new skills. We try and do all the jobs, and we do all the jobs
ourselves. Essentially it’s a place where you can come and programme and have creative
input. I think what the Star & Shadow does that’s different from a lot of other event
and arts spaces is the accessibility. It’s the fact that anyone can come in and be a
part of this, and you’re learning new things, you’re getting new skills, and you’re giving
back. It’s a community, it’s not a one way thing. It’s the last day of half term, so
I thought I’d bring my kids and the neighbours kids round. I was looking around for something
to do and found this little book binding thing. I think the kids really enjoyed it. I think
it’s something very different to what they would probably, normally, be spending a Sunday
afternoon doing. I don’t think anybody else actually offers that sort of thing around
here. It definitely makes the community more healthy because we have more diverse things,
we’re all learning from each other, there’s more equality, and specific value and ethos,
that exist within the Star & Shadow. It’s just a nice feeling that everyone’s kind of
supporting each other and looking out for each other. I think it’s important to do work
that’s rewarding and that you believe in, and that’s why community business is important.

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