There is not much to do on Pellworm in the evening. Culture and nightlife are a challenge here, and there is almost no show. The cinema club provides therapy until the projector gives up the ghost in January – jeopardizing the cinema’s existence. Kino Klub Pellworm members face the decision: surrender or continue? The alternative to island cinema is the cinema in Husum – but when Bellarmers go there to see movies, they can only do so once a month when there is a late ferry back to the island. It is clear to the members of the film club: it must continue.
A projector is needed – and it costs
Objective: By Easter at the latest, there should be a cinema on the island again. However, what the Kino Klub needs is expensive: a new monitor is needed. “We’re talking about an amount in the mid-five-figure range that we have to fund,” says the second chairman, Felix Letterman.
Since the cinema club is a non-profit cultural institution and does not operate economically, economic promotion of the island’s cinema is out of the question. But luck played its part: the club received money for the device via a funding request to Aktivregion Uthlande. But volunteers need more: at least 15,000 euros for server technology, installation work and other small things. This is where something very valuable about island life comes into play: everyone sticks together and helps each other out. With crowdfunding, cinema operators get €29,000 together.
A true cinematic feeling with armchairs, sound and popcorn
The new projector is now hung under the ceiling of the Pellwormer Bürgerhus – in fact a multifunctional hall with a theater and a ballroom. When the light is shining from outside, there is not much cinema atmosphere. But when club members close the curtains, draw the red curtains, start the movie, and the surround speakers make rich cinematic sound, it feels like real cinema. This is also ensured by real cinema seats, which were used by the islanders from Cinema Husum. There are 60 spacious seats on the red carpet. Thanks to several helping hands, the transformation from the empty auditorium to the cinema takes only a few hours.
And then, on Maundy Thursday, it’s over: The first two films are being shown – before Easter, a self-imposed goal. A family movie is shown in the afternoon, the cinema is fully booked, many parents and children come here. Snacks, drinks and – of course – popcorn are available at the counter. Anne Frolich is also here with her children for a three-week treatment. “Kids are happy that we can finally go to the cinema again after the long Corona period,” says Frolich, who also thinks cinema is good for a special reason. “Personally, I come from an island in the Baltic Sea, where there is no cinema – that’s why I think it’s really cool.”
Cinema made by Pellwormers for Pellwormers
Two years ago, Leitermann founded the association with Thomas Tallowitz, both of whom are board members. There were 60 members of the club in the beginning, now there are more than 100, all volunteers. This is very important on the island, which has a population of about 1,200, because many islanders have several honorary positions at the same time. In the cinema they work in program management, at the box office, at the counter and in construction. “Cinema is a social event,” Letterman says. “We also do culinary cinema, which is very well received.”
Leitermann says the fact that the Easter shows are fully booked shows that Pellworm Cinema has a right to exist. “Holiday guests are not our main target group,” adds Chairman Talewitz, “The cinema is designed by Pellwormers for Pellwormers.” Especially in the fall and winter, the very dark seasons on the island, there is not much going on – Talewitz thinks cinema is the right thing. They don’t want to offer more places at first, but maybe more performance days – and together they decided on the island.