On October 12, 2022, Andy’s Children’s Hospice in Grimbsy, U.K. became the 36th children’s hospice to open a free professional-grade movie theater installation through the non-profit organization Together For Cinema, to the delight of children and families under the hospices’ care.
According to the group’s founder Ian Morrish, the theaters installed to date would have cost at least £900,000 if they had been installed at market rates without donations, highlighting the value and necessity of sponsorships and products from companies like Snap One.
“It’s always exciting when we make contact with a new potential site for the first time, but the real payoff is seeing the children’s reactions when they sit down to enjoy a true movie theater experience that’s convenient and free for their whole family,” Morrish said. “Our generous technology and installation partners are crucial to our ongoing success bringing joy to young hospice patients throughout the U.K. Every consideration from the speakers and network components to the lighting and control system is vital to provide a room that lets the families spend time together in a non-hospital setting.”
Snap One’s contributions included a Control4 system and remote that provides simple navigation and control of the whole room, from powering on all the gear to movie selection to lighting control. To provide long-term protection and simplify system reboots, the system relies on a Pakedge PE-08I PDU that handles surge protection and monitoring capabilities for the entire rack of equipment. Snap One also donated an enterprise-grade Araknis internet router and network switch that together ensure long-term performance and reliable connection to online video sources.
In the Andy’s Children’s Hospice cinema room, Control4 helps make movie time as easy as possible for staff and as fun as can be for the children and their families. Staff can easily turn everything on at once using a Control4 remote, including the starry sky ceiling light panels. The roughly 17-foot by 18-foot room was previously an underutilized storage closet, which integrator Ben Cook of Sonic Vision wisely determined was the best space for the theater. The room has exterior double doors that provide easy access regardless of physical impairments and can hold up to 20 people for each movie screening.
“Once Ian had explained the work that Together For Cinema do, it was a no-brainer for us to get involved with this installation,” Cook said. “Our day-to-day business is to create breathtaking experiences, and I can’t think of a better way to pay it forward using our skills and knowledge. This was an opportunity to create something special for children that often have minimal opportunities for leisure, and as such our goal was to create a space that provides amazement, enables valuable family time and helps make smiles as well as memories.”
In addition to the video equipment and Starscape Infinity Lighting panels, the Control4 system also controls the 9.2 surround sound system, LED lighting and colored lighting. The room delivers stellar audio experiences thanks to acoustic panels that are custom-printed with suitable children’s movie graphics, turning a functional component into a fun decorative addition.
Michelle Rollinson, Chief Executive of St. Andrew’s Hospice, which houses Andy’s Children’s Hospice, was overjoyed at the opportunity to create such a special place for kids and families to enjoy time together.
”We were so excited when we first heard about the cinemas being developed in Children’s Hospices, and our excitement only grew when we first met Ian and Ben. The image that they brought alive through their initial thoughts and ideas sounded too good to be true. We really couldn’t imagine the workshop/storage room looking like a cinema, and we were totally blown away when we saw it for the first time,” Rollinson said.
She continued: “We are so very grateful to everyone for the generous donations of technology, time and expertise that came together to create an amazing cinema experience. For children and young people living with a life-limiting illness, taking a family trip to the cinema can be challenging and stressful, which obviously detracts from the experience. Having the cinema here at the hospice provides opportunities for families to enjoy special times together, watching their favorite film, in the comfort of their own private space. The special memories that will be created are magical and will bring comfort to families at sad times.”
The grand opening featured a meet-and-greet with Joanne Clifton, a World Champion professional dancer and star of the U.K.’s Strictly Take Two and Choreography Corner television programs.
For more information about Together for Cinema and the cinema room at Andy’s Children’s Hospice, visit https://www.togetherforcinema.
Snap One is proud to be a Gold sponsor of Together For Cinema’s valiant mission to help create happy memories for families and children throughout the U.K. hospice system. Andy’s Children’s Hospice marks the eleventh completed theater using donated Snap One products since the sponsorship began in 2020.