Cameo cinema launch ‘Pay it Forward’ ticket scheme

Picture; Ian Georgeson
Picture; Ian Georgeson
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HOLLYWOOD’S latest offerings form part of the fabric of everyday conversation.

But for many families in Edinburgh a trip to the cinema is an unaffordable luxury.

Edinburgh Food Project will distribute donations to food banks. Picture: Scott Taylor

Edinburgh Food Project will distribute donations to food banks. Picture: Scott Taylor

To help try and combat social isolation that can result from missing out on cultural outings, the Cameo cinema has now launched a new ‘pay it forward’ ticket scheme.

Cameo customers are invited to buy an extra ticket when purchasing their own for someone who can’t afford it.

The tickets will be donated to the Edinburgh Food Project, which will distribute them from city foodbanks alongside food parcels this Christmas.

Neil Hepburn, marketing manager at the Cameo, said people living in poverty shouldn’t be excluded from the magic of the movies.

“Cinema is a communal, enriching experience and people who are hard up shouldn’t have to miss out,” he said.

“With the increased gentrification of the cinema we want to ensure it is open to all. Everyone is welcome at the Cameo.”

Edinburgh Food Project, which runs a network of foodbanks in the city, expects to feed 650 people throughout the festive period. “It would be amazing if we could give a ticket to everyone who comes to us,” said operations manager Ewan Walker.

“The idea of pay it forward has been embraced in the city and this is such a lovely idea.

“Giving those who don’t have much of a chance to go out for entertainment, an opportunity for an outing, would be brilliant.

“Think of the kids and the topics they’ll talk about in the playground – for them not to be able to take part in these conversations is the most basic form of social isolation.”

“It is amazing the Cameo is working with us again. Their customers have already displayed amazing generosity with recent fundraising efforts.”

Screenings of I, David Blake, a powerful drama portraying the indignity of the UK welfare system, sparked an emotional outpouring from Cameo movie-goers.

A wall of notes penned by people who had experienced similar situations as the main character were left in the cinema foyer and the Cameo responded by setting up a collection for local foodbanks.

“We have had an overwhelming response to our bucket collections which also garnered the support of Paul Laverty, the film’s scriptwriter,” said Neil. “He came to the Cameo and was very moved by the personal experiences and comments left by people.”

Cameo customers have now raised over £4000 for the charity and are keen to continue the partnership. The tickets can be used for any film and do not have an expiry date.

Last year, the Edinburgh Food Project fed 7555 people with 34 per cent of referrals citing basic low income as the reason they struggle to feed their families.

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk