Charlie cinema was founded 15 years ago as an original project of the animators of the DKF (discussion film club) movement. Since the year 2004 Charlie cinema has been a member of Europa Cinemas. The foundation of the cinema was spurred by film (associated with Lodz Film School), artistic (connected with avangarde artist groups headed by the notorious Artistic Group "Łódź Kaliska") and media melieu. The Polish Radio, which the founder of the cinema - Sławomir Fijałkowski - was related to, has been the patron of the project since its very beginning.
Currently the cinema has 3 air-conditioned screening rooms (25, 51 and 200 seats), however more screening rooms are planned to be built. Charlie cinema is a pioneer in the Polish market as far as on-line booking, Internet services for film events as well as audience surveys and creative marketing are concerned. The cinema's activities rely on three pillars: premieres, events and film education.
An Association called "Łódź Filmowa", which includes filmmakers, artists, academic teachers and journalists functions by the cinema. The cinema is also the seat of two institutions concerned with film education - Młodzieżowa Akademia Filmowa (Youth Film Academy) and Gabinet Edukacji Filmowej (Film Education Cabinet), which has established the grounds of film education for all Poland, Currently, the "Cabinet" is realising the support programme for all cinemas incorporated into the network of Studio and Local cinemas in Poland, which Charlie cinema belongs to as well. Thanks to our cooperation with several institutions, cultural organisations and culture animators in Poland, Charlie cinema can be compared to a culture incubator, where knowledge and experience are combined with passion and animator's initiative on many grounds. Their common denominator is artistic and European cinema, as well as interdisciplinary actions.
At the cinema, apart from innumerable screenings accompanied by meetings with authors and students of Lodz Film School (which has been the patron of the cinema since 2002), there take place several festivals and panoramas based on author ideas (International Animation Festival ReAnimacja, Authors' Festival "Powiększenie" (Close-up) or Independent Cinema Festival "OFF jak gorąco") or outside events on national scale (the International Festival of the Art of Cinematography "Camerimage", Spanish Cinema Week), as well as meetings of the members of the Polish Filmmakers Association or focus screenings for the media.
It was at Charlie cinema where the first Polish event devoted to the European cinema took place - European Cinema Forum. This event was one of the major cultural events not merely in Lodz but in all Poland. The aim of the forum, apart from providing an alternative for commercial repertoire of other cinemas, was to present European productions in the atmosphere of an artistic festival, which constitutes an important element of Lodz's film traditions. During the Forum (in 1993) for the first time in Poland the audience had a chance to see a retrospective of Pedro Almodovar's oeuvre. We are under construction of XVth festival edition. It will have competition section and will name Forum of European Cinema "Cinergia". The event will be held between Nov 4th-12th, 2010.
Charlie cinema is a model example of a PLACE; a PLACE of cooperation, creation and exchange of ideas. At the cinema's galery every month there are exhibitions of young artists' works. Within the cycle "Charlie Outside" the cinema realises different projects all over the country - starting with outdoor cinema within the Festival of Trailers and finishing with music concerts in famous pubs on different occassions, such as granting the award of "Złoty Glan". "Złoty Glan" is the only award in Poland, which is granted by a cinema and its audience. The latest laureate of the award was a Czech film director Petr Zelenka.
Thanks to interaction with the viewers the cinema has won loyal audience. Charlie cinema's Newsletter reaches sixteen thousand people and the website www.charlie.pl is visited by c. 4-5 thousand Internet users every day.
Charlie cinema is a unique place, because it is being created together with the audience, under the scrutiny of its patron - Charlie Chaplin. Charlie cinema is a WEB 2.0 cinema, which initiates new trends (Queer Festival) and presents margin phenomena to wider audience (charlie experience).
Charlie cinema is also the founding member of MediaKlaster in Lodz (www.mediaklaster.pl), which joins film and media milieu in the Lodz region, as well as a member of the Association "Kina Polskie" (Polish Cinemas) and a member of the audiovisual section at Lodz Industry and Trade Chamber.
Last year an M.A. thesis entitled "The phenomenon of Charlie cinema in the cultural panorama of Lodz" was written at the Lodz University...