Website for a local independent cinema


Website redesign, bespoke CMS and online booking for this independent community cinema and arts venue in the heart of Hastings Old Town.


Electric Palace approached us in 2016 to develop a new website to replace the one we built for them 10 years earlier.

The cinema provides a wide choice of alternative films and film-related events. Surviving solely on ticket and refreshment sales and a team of 30 dedicated volunteers to staff the screenings. So the booking function on the new website needed to be simple and easy to use. One of the key goals was to sell more tickets in advance and to encourage hiring the cinema space for private events. The ticket booking process is now streamlined, and tickets are easy to buy.

Our brief contained a long wish list with a small budget but we worked closely with the EP team to deliver the most essential functions. The new website was developed using Laravel with a bespoke CMS and design. The front-end editing features Laravel offers makes updating the site information easy and intuitive for volunteers.

The EP team also wanted to improve their archiving and analytics and needed to refine the site search. They also wanted to feature video and make the experience enticing as well as clear and engaging. Since the site has been live, analytics show the average time spent on site has doubled.


Design features

The font used is Gibson, a humanist sans-serif typeface designed in 2011 by Canadian type designer Rod McDonald. It’s a robust and confident typeface which works well with the dramatic brand colours of red and black. We introduced softer tones of grey and grey-pink to the colour palette and used high contrast buttons and calls to action. We also re-drew the Electric Palace logo as part of the project ensuring the letterforms were consistent.

We introduced some subtle textures into the black sections of the site. We used subtle textured overlays to the hero images to disguise inevitable low res imagery, often a problem with older film images. Coupled with some commissioned photography by local photographer Georgina Piper, the site has an evocative and unique look and feel.

More recently, we have been working on updating elements of the CMS to improve useability and functionality, and this work is ongoing. Additionally, we are working with EP on new features which were not achievable in the initial phase of work.


Some features included

  • coupons & discounts
  • calendar booking and venue hire
  • news and blog
  • email newsletters
  • cross-selling functionality
  • user dashboards
  • flexible seating settings
  • easy to use editing interfaces