This week we have two LDNERS, meet Dom and James. Dom founded Backyard Cinema because of his passion for films and partnered up with James to help the business move forward. London inspires them both… ‘it is all about the weird and wonderful’.

Where do you live in London and what do you love about that area?

DOM: I live in Whitechapel currently but have always lived East. I love it for its easy connections to all the places I want to go. A quick cycle to London Fields and Hackney but still easy to get into the city centre. I am also about 500m from Genesis Cinema, my local independent which I visit at least twice a week.

JAMES: Chalk Farm, it’s just outside the chaos and fun of Camden and there’s loads of great pubs in walking distance. I worked at the market for years and know a lot of the locals around here so there’s always people about and something going on.

Tell us how Backyard Cinema was born?

DOM: Well it started as a passion project to just screen films outside to some mates as a laugh. After a couple of times I started adding retro popcorn cups, decorations, food and drinks and it was great but costing me a bloody fortune. I floated the idea of people chipping in a fiver towards the proceeds and they all laughed at me and told me where to go. I thought I better take this to market and see how I got on, so I built a website, found a basement and bought some camping chairs from Amazon and it began.

JAMES: Dom started it, in his garden, he can tell that story. For me it started as the Event Manager at Camden Market and we called up Backyard Cinema and asked them to come to Camden. We liked the name, we had a West Yard, Middle Yard etc and it seemed to fit. Dom managed to convince me that he was a big time event manager and basically talked his way into a free pitch in the middle of our Night Market events. From there we became good friends and over the course of 3 more years of working together we grew it from a few hundred a people a show to over 10 thousand. He finally managed to convince me to quit my job and join him as a partner. I’ve loved running the BYC events over the years and helping the company grow and I’m very proud to now call it my own.

bean bag LOTI

Does living in London influence you in your work?

DOM: Yeah of course, and it’s not even just the other amazing shows that people are doing out there. The talent is unreal, theatre, immersive dinners, other screenings it’s like a hub of creative activity where ever you look. For me its the settings, the buildings and the ever changing venues. London changes so much that what was an empty warehouse one day can be a trendy bike shop / cafe the next. It is all about the weird and wonderful.

JAMES: Absolutely. There’s always so much going on in London and we try to get out to as many events as possible. There are so many amazing productions on and on so many different scales. There’s a lot to learn and some very inspiring shows out there.

What might be your dream locations for Backyard Cinema?

DOM: Jungle…I really want to do a jungle with some dinosaurs running around…I realize this is rather unlikely in London so we might have to build it ourselves!

JAMES: We’re always looking for new and exciting locations for BYC. So many times the venue actually dictates the theme of the event and not the other way around. A dream location for me is somewhere that no-one has been before or that no-one will again, somewhere unique, inspiring or unexpected.

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What would your perfect day in London be?

DOM: I am an ‘immersive’ event junkie, well just an event junkie so it would be to go to an impressive show like Punch Drunk or Chamber of Flavours followed up with lots of beers in London Fields somewhere with my pals. The flip side of that and if I am feeling somewhat introvert is a triple screening at my local cinema Genesis to catch up on new releases, I bloody love it and drink my body weight in Fanta.

JAMES: Well it would be sunny! London is an amazing place in the sun. With that in mind I always love a pizza next to the canal at Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick. It’s hands down the best pizza in London. To be honest I’d be happy with anything involving some mates, good street food and a nice drink in the sun. It’s the simple things.