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Ten great films to screen for family audiences

Screening family-friendly films at your community cinema is the perfect way to attract audiences of all ages and introduce children to favourite family classics.

Matinees before an evening screening can also help increase your cinema's takings – plus you could sell themed snacks and drinks to create a fun, lively atmosphere.

Build anticipation for the screening by picking seasonal films – just don't forget to check your local school holiday dates first to make sure your screening isn’t when everyone will be away.

Take a look at our ideas for films that family audiences will love to watch on the big screen.

  • The Wizard of Oz

    The Wizard of Oz

    Each time it’s shown, the evergreen story of Dorothy and her magical adventures down the Yellow Brick Road embraces a new generation of children who are swept along by its magic. Essential viewing for anyone who’s ever dreamed of going somewhere over the rainbow.

    Available from Filmbank

  • A Matter of Life and Death

    A Matter of Life and Death

    You’d never guess that this enchanting masterpiece started its life as a propaganda movie to improve Anglo-American relations. David Niven is the British airman in limbo between Heaven – stunning in black and white – and Technicolour Earth after a near-fatal crash.

    Available from BFI Distribution

  • The Red Balloon

    The Red Balloon

    This Cannes award winner follows a small boy as he chases a big red balloon around his hometown. As enjoyable for adults in its evocation of the streets of 1950s Paris as it is for kids.

    Available from Cinema For All

  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

    Gene Wilder as the marvellously eccentric Willy Wonka shows Johnny Depp how it’s done in the original adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel. A schnozberry-flavoured delight to make adults feel like children again.

    Available from Filmbank

  • The Princess Bride

    The Princess Bride

    With swordplay, romance and giants, this is more than just a classic fairytale. For children it’s an enchanting bedtime story, while adults will fall in love with its self awareness and Pythonesque humour.

    Available from Filmbank

  • Cinema Paradiso

    Cinema Paradiso

    This unashamedly nostalgic Italian drama will prove irresistibly sweet for anyone who loves the movies. An ageing director returns to his hometown in Sicily and remembers his childhood awakening to the magic of cinema.

    Available from Film Bank

  • Honey I Shrunk the Kids

    Honey I Shrunk the Kids

    This comedy fantasy is zany fun for all ages and all sizes. A madcap suburban inventor accidentally shrinks his children to pinhead size and then throws them out with the rubbish.

    Available from Filmbank

  • Chicken Run

    Chicken Run

    Hens with British regional accents evade certain death ‘by chicken pie’ in this charming and frenetic stop-motion from Wallace & Gromit creators Aardman Animations. The superb voice cast includes British legends Miranda Richardson, Imelda Staunton and Timothy Spall.

    Available from Filmbank

  • Spirited Away

    Spirited Away

    This exquisite hand drawn animation from the Japanese Studio Ghibli is about a little girl’s journey of self-discovery. A cross between The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, it’s the only foreign film yet to win an Oscar for best animated feature.

    Available from Filmbank

  • Up

    Up

    Pixar raises the bar to wondrous new heights in this gentle and buoyant adventure into the sky. Whether seen through the innocent eyes of a child or the wisdom of an adult, it’s a soaring experience.

    Available from Filmbank

  • Read our tips for getting young people more involved in your community cinema.