PHNOM PENH, August 17, (KHMER TIMES) – Dutch entrepreneur and Flicks Community Movie House owner Ramon Stoppelenburg was enamored with movies from a young age, but like most parents, his didn’t share this passion.
Citing Forest Gump and Good Will Hunting as two of his favorite films, Stoppelenburg believes people can “learn from movies.”
The Flicks is a volunteer-run local community space, financed by 109 people. The cover charge for a day of movies is $3.50.
The newest addition, located on Street 258 offers a bar, an affordable menu ranging from burgers to Mexican food, a cocktail lounge, and a 10-bed guest house. The cinema can accommodate 26 people with screenings on a 5-meter wide screen.
Martin and Jeanette Robinson founded The Flicks Festival Movie House in 2009. They wanted to give people in Phnom Penh entertainment options, so they bought a villa and transformed it into a private cinema.
“This got them a lot of friends,” Stoppelenburg jokes. He took over The Flicks in March 2011 through the help of online fundraising. He painted it, modernized it, and added the popcorn. The 32 seats were consistently filled, so he decided to open a second Flicks in May 2013.
Marketing extraordinaire and movie enthusiast, Stoppelenburg says his talents lie in spreading the word about the Flicks schedule. He generally doesn’t blame low crowds on movie choice – he blames his marketing style. But, with a third cinema now open, he seems to be doing something right.
Stoppelenburg chooses the movies, communicating with distributers to see what is available. He aims to find a balance between relevant, Cambodian films, and quality, independent movies.
With a target market of expats and tourists, the Flicks locations are strategic. Flicks 1 is located in BKK1 with 32 seats, Flicks 2 on the riverside with 20 seats, and Flicks 3, near Wat Botum with 26 seats.
During the dry season, Flicks also hosts outdoor cinema nights at restaurant Gasolina. From December through to March they are held bi-monthly on Thursday evenings.
The three Flicks cinemas will host the Phnom Penh International Film Festival from September 12 to September 20. Opening Day will be at Meta House. With over 300 submissions from independent movie-makers all over the world, the extra 26 seats in Flicks 3 is needed now more than ever.
The opening of The Flicks 3 cinema coincided with the death of beloved actor, Robin Williams. Tribute was paid, as “Dead Poet’s Society” and “Good Will Hunting,” two of his best-known films, christened the new venue.
The Flicks 1 is #39b on Street 95. The Flicks 2 is #90 on Street 136.