Given the current circumstances that we all find ourselves in, motoring up the projector and dimming the lights in local community cinema is off the table for the meantime, but that does not mean that you can’t enjoy communal cinema experiences from your living rooms.

There are lots of ways to keep social and in contact with one another during these uncertain times. Here at Moviola, we realise the vital role that community cinema plays in rural and local areas, bringing people together to share experiences, whether that’s a large glass of wine, a heart-racing film or just checking in with each other to say hello. This doesn’t have to stop!

It is now more important than ever to keep social, especially with those who may feel isolated, vulnerable, or just plain scared.

Here are five ways that we hope you can use to stay entertained and escape the world for a moment or two.

1. #MoviolaTogether

We thought we could bring in some interaction between audiences in our community networks so that we can have a good virtual natter and watch a film together over the internet. Don’t worry – there’s no need for webcams and two hours of staring at our concentrating faces (a horror film in of itself!).

We’ll be sharing a film to watch once a week with an opportunity for all community audiences to participate in an online chit-chat using our webpages or on and the hashtag #MoviolaTogether. You can also join our WhatsApp Group

If you didn’t understand any of that – fear not. We welcome comments by email and we’ll be posting up some of your thoughts after each film- drop us a line at


2. Free Films!

There are lots of services available to stream films for free – BBC iPlayer and Film4 are some you may already have at your disposal.

YouTube have plenty of classic films available that you can watch legally, many of which have now fallen out of copyright. We’ll be sharing lots of links on the blog in the coming weeks – so keep your eyes peeled, but for now, here’s one of the office favourites, gratis!

HIS GIRL FRIDAY Directed by Howard Hawks

Starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, this farce of newspaper editors, one-upmanship and a sneaky scheme to stop marriage at all costs.

3. Free trials of streaming services

At the moment almost all major streaming networks are offering a free trial of sorts including Netflix*, Amazon Prime*, MUBI* and BFI Player*. We’ll tell you more about those services and how you can access them, in addition to our favourites on each service.

4. Support your local independent cinemas by renting films

Many films which were scheduled for release have now moved to streaming services at home – this includes the brilliant SYSTEM CRASHER – an empathetic look at the care system in Germany, centred around the charismatic (and nightmare-ish) Billi. We highly recommend this film – the lead actress has now gone on to making films with Tom Hanks after this title became a smash hit in her native country.

10% of all profits from the film will go to independent cinemas and support their ongoing work (most of whom are also charities and have had significant cuts to their funding).

The distributor is the small 606 Distribution based in Cornwall who had this pegged as their big film of the year before cinemas shut. Show them that can still be the case with your custom.

You can purchase this film here and pick the cinema you want to support:


5. Watch-a-long With Your Friends

There are many options available to audiences to watch along with their friends – the most popular service at the moment is ZOOM* – where you can all synchronise pressing ‘play’ together and chat along as you watch the film in the background.

Many of you are familiar with Skype*, which you can watch with up to 50 people.

If you all have a Netflix subscription and use Google Chrome to browse the internet then there’s Netflix Party*

Netflix Party

Here, all the synchronising is done for you and you can host long-distance film-watching parties to your heart’s content!

Keep checking back to our Moviola Noticeboard for new ideas, content and entertainment to keep you going over the next few weeks.

We always want to hear from you so don’t hesitate to contact us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp

Stay safe, look after yourselves and each other.

The Moviola HQ Team

(*all third party services and downloads are provided in good faith, with links directly to the companies mentioned. Moviola does not profit from any of the links in this article.)

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