Small Business Saturday Blog

Jampacked with passion: the local cinema that’s giving back

Wednesday, October 09 at 22:28

Located in the heart of Whitley Bay, the Jam Jar Cinema is an integral part of the community and has an enthusiastic local following. Offering the best in local, friendly, affordable, inclusive and diverse cinema, they believe that a trip to the pictures is a unique pleasure that should be available to everyone.
The cinema first opened its doors in 2011, screening the best of British, art-house, indy and Hollywood releases in pubs, soft plays and churches before taking their first lease in 2013.
In 2015, they installed top of the range equipment, making them a truly digital cinema. They’ve recently added a second screen, with plans for a third along with a lift by Christmas, making them completely accessible, and hope to increase their annual footfall from 50,000 to 75,000 in the year ahead.
Earlier this month, the cinema launched a ‘Pay As You Please’ scheme whereby customers can choose what price they pay for a ticket, which is intended to make a trip to the pictures even more accessible to locals.
As an independent, local cinema, the Jam Jar prides itself on its excellent customer service, friendly welcome, cosy bar, and passion for film. It now boasts 15 employees, actively supporting working parents to work part time, and is proud to pay living wage.
The contribution that the cinema makes to its community is also impressive. Visitors to the cinema translates to a footfall of over 150,000 to the town, adding around £800,000 to the local economy. As well as providing gallery space for local artists, the cinema donates over £2,000 per year in vouchers to fundraisers directly, and offers a charity hire rate to fundraisers that enables groups to raise approximately £15,000 a year for good causes. Finally, around 80% of their suppliers are local businesses.
Jam Jar Cinema founder, Dan Ellis, is delighted to take part in the campaign. "Championing the local community and economy is at the heart of everything we do at Jam Jar Cinema, so to take part in this collaboration is fantastic. We can promote Whitley Bay even further and encourage locals to support all the other businesses on their doorstep too".
The Jam Jar cinema is taking part in American Express’ Shop Small campaign: find them here on the Shop Small Map. Click here to visit the Jam Jar Cinema website, and click here to find out more about the AMEX Shop Small campaign.

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