The first contact charitable organization Together For Cinema had with U.K.-based children’s hospice group Forget Me Not was a decade ago. Together For Cinema’s Ian Morrish and his organization have been connecting facilities, integrators and custom industry manufacturers in charitable projects for years.
“Sadly, nothing came of this initial contact, and it wasn’t until January 2020 that we made contact for a second time. Again, this was as a result of a member of staff at Forget Me Not seeing one of our installations, the fabulous cinema room at Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley,” Morrish says of the long haul to what recently became the organization’s 26th completed project.
Managing to eventually work around the pandemic disruptions, Together For Cinema and Forget Me Not finally opened the new media room two months ago.
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Melanie Malcolm, director of U.K. integrator Bespoke Home Cinemas who also sits on CEDIA’s Global Board of Directors, joined Together For Cinema’s steering committee in 2019. And fortunately for Forget Me Not, Bespoke Home Cinemas is in Leeds and Malcolm had always been looking for a Together For Cinema installation should the opportunity arise.
“So, when I was contacted in January 2020 by one of Forget Me Not’s team it was an easy match and Melanie happily committed for her team to take the installation on,” Morrish says.
Despite the COVID-19 lockdowns, by the end of summer 2020 Melanie, along with husband Gifford Malcom, managing director of Bespoke Home Cinemas, were able to visit Forget Me Not and view the proposed room for the installation of the cinema facility, Morrish says. The proposed room for the theater build was being used as a board room and had a commissioned graffiti style mural painted on one wall to mark the original opening of the hospice and it was a request that this artwork was to be kept in place.
There were a few design challenges, but eventually the final design was approved and an ambitious equipment list was drawn up, Morrish says. This included Starscape star lighting effects, Epson 4K projector, a new Cinema Build Systems halo cinema screen with LEDs, Sony Blu-ray player, Monitor Audio speakers, Denon AVR, Control4 controls, QMotion motorized blinds, Rako lighting control, HDANYWHERE cabling, acoustic fabric walls and more. Notes Morrish, “A really ambitious ask from the AV industry but one we felt we could achieve.”
Hospice Won’t Forget ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ Work
The project was spread over a three-week period due to other jobs scheduled by Bespoke but the actual installation took only six physical working days, Morrish says of the team’s extra effort involved. On August 6, the hospice hosted an official grand cinema room opening.
“I’m delighted to report that this was wedged in between various scheduled film screenings for the children,” Morrish says.
While the amount of industry attendees had to be curbed due to COVID-19 concerns and travel logistics, the event still filled Forget Me Not with a vibrant time. “Needless to say,” he adds, “the demo we had from Gifford was ‘absolutely fabulous’ and really does reflect all the hard work that was put in to make the room as great as it is.”