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CPL Community Cinema initiative provides opportunity for more city residents to have access to film screenings

5/22/2019, noon | Updated on 5/22/2019, noon
The Chicago Public Library recently launched a new citywide program titled Community Cinema. There are 50 library branches participating in ...
All CPL branches will show at least four films each month, half of which are targeted at adult audiences while the other half are open to all ages.

CPL Community Cinema initiative provides opportunity for more city residents to have access to film screenings

The Chicago Public Library recently launched a new citywide program titled Community Cinema. There are 50 library branches participating in this yearlong pilot. This was made possible through the Chicago Public Foundation and with Swank Movie Licensing, which is the largest film licenser and carries all the latest movie releases. This program is an initiative led by CPL’s Adult Services department but offers an opportunity for inter-generational programming. The Community Cinema showings can be found on the CPL website at chipublib.org/CommunityCinema.

“Partnerships such as this one ensure that we provide accessible programing to all our patrons, especially when the resource may not otherwise be available in many areas of the city,” said Commissioner Brian Bannon. “Our libraries serve as anchors in our communities and this initiative certainly reflects that.”

All CPL branches will show at least four films each month, half of which are targeted at adult audiences while the other half are open to all ages. The participating branches are spread throughout the city, but many are on the West and South sides of Chicago. Each branch gets to choose their own films to reflect the needs and desires of their specific communities.

Many Chicago neighborhoods do not have movie theaters within walking distance and, even if they do, it can be prohibitively expensive. As a result, a significant amount of the community is being left out of conversation when it comes to new film releases. Chicago Public Library is attempting to address this issue with the new Community Cinema initiative.

As films are selected, a special effort will be made to ensure representation of a wide range of communities, especially highlighting people of color from around the world.

Most screenings will run with subtitles or audio descriptions dialogue to make sure they are accessible to all adult populations with different abilities. Everyone is encouraged to attend the Community Cinema screenings, as the wide selection of movies should provide something of interest for everyone.