Since they first came to Wandsworth in 2014, Backyard Cinema has made the neighbouring community its home, through a number of activities and benefits oriented to local residents.

We are aiming to offer a similar package to the neighbours close to the site and are committed to working with LB Lewisham to develop a community offer that best suits this area, the Creative Enterprise Zone and the wider Borough. This could include:

Three cinema screens

The surrounding warehouses will be split into spaces for three cinema screens and associated ‘experience’ areas, with themed cinema snack bars for you to enjoy when watching films. Each screen and associated space will have its own theme which changes seasonally once a year from summer to winter.

Access for the whole community

We want to provide ‘pay-what-you-can’ tickets for local residents every Wednesday, offer 20% discounts on food and drink, invites to opening nights and offer the use of the space for community organisations when we are not in use or showing films. We also want to show free screenings for Lewisham NHS workers to celebrate their efforts over the Covid pandemic.

Pupil referral unit programme

In addition to school children, we want to provide 500 free tickets a year for children who have been excluded from school.

Schools ticket scheme

We want to host a minimum of three free school screenings per month, totalling up to 8,400 tickets per year.

Local recruitment

We are encouraging the new jobs to be advertised locally with open days and other initiatives. We are committed to ensuring that entry level positions are all paid at least London living wage with training programmes to develop and nurture these positions.

Events tailored to the local community

We want to work with the local community to provide events that are suited to the needs and wants of the local area.

Giving a platform for the issues that matter to the community

Similar to events, we want to work with the local community to raise awareness of the issues that matter to local people, such as working to create Lewisham’s first Black Film Festival.

Helping support the local economy

We want to provide a diverse range of jobs for the local area that supports the growth of the creative economy and will help the economic recovery in the area Deptford and Lewisham following the pandemic.


The site benefits from an existing vehicle access onto Evelyn Street as well as internal yard space. This will allow servicing and deliveries to be undertaken on site without impacting on the surrounding highway network.

The application will be accompanied by a Transport Statement which will include an assessment of delivery vehicle movements and frequencies (although it is anticipated these will be lower than could be expected).

Security and stewards will be also positioned on the gates as people leave alongside signage asking people to leave quietly and respect our neighbours. Movie times will also be staggered to ease numbers entering and leaving the site.

Illustration of potential servicing to the site

Our transport consultants are currently drafting a Visitor Management Plan, which will be submitted alongside the planning application.  We will be sharing this plan with LB Lewisham officers and also consulting with our closest neighbours, to ensure local support for the proposals.  Our key principles for operating the venue, which have served us very well in Wandsworth and all our previous homes in the past are:

  • Designing and a venue fit for purpose.
  • Recruiting, training and briefing high quality hosting staff – where possible, from the local area.
  • Liaising with our neighbours and relevant agencies.
  • Creating and working to an operating plan focussed on providing a great guest.