The Kingsway has screened its first films in decades thanks to SLLFX’s hire stock of audio and visual equipment. The site of the historic picture house in the Kings Heath area of Birmingham, which closed its doors in 1979, is now being used by Friendly Neighborhood Cinema to host a seven-week film festival in COVID-safe conditions, with the local rental house called in to meet the technical requirements.
Only the frontage of the original venue still stands following a fire that destroyed the building in 2011. However, with the land behind the site now clear, it was seen as the perfect opportunity to draw on the historic roots of the venue to host a socially distanced film festival. With the prestigious location found, Friendly Neighborhood Cinema needed technical equipment that could do justice to the traditions of The Kingsway. As such, it approached SLLFX to provide the screen, trussing and sound system, and given the iconic nature of the venue, the rental company was only too happy to oblige.
The team at SLLFX decided that a 5m by 2.5m screen created from its high definition P6 outdoor LED stock would be the perfect solution for the open air pop-up venue. This was complemented by an Electro-Voice ZLX sound system controlled via a mixing desk that was designed to cover the seating space but not spill over into the neighbouring residential areas as well as a wireless headphone system to provide a more intimate experience. Finally, a truss structure which could adapt to the uneven ground completed the setup.
“The biggest challenge we faced was the turnaround,” explains SLLFX’s Lee Dearn. “Our client wanted the screen to be installed the day before the opening night. From initial call to delivery, our team provided the full plan, risk assessment, build and test within 48 hours.”
Reflecting on the overall success of the project, Dearn is pleased with how the equipment performed. “All of the screenings went smoothly, but our staff were on call to attend within 30 minutes had there been any issues. We are extremely happy with the way the screen performed and looked in this historic setting.”
Likewise, both Open Air Cinema Club BG and The Friendly Neighbourhood Cinema as well as the cinema’s guests have also been impressed with the technical setup and service delivered by SLLFX. “The 20m2 high definition LED screen provided by SLLFX along with the complete audio system is wowing audiences young and old,” stated Lee Kelly, Director of Open Air Cinema Club BG. “The level of support from SLLFX has been top-notch and I can’t recommend them enough. As a struggling industry due to COVID-19 restrictions, SLLFX is leading the way in supply of technical and services support.”