BabyKino in Kallio Library, Helsinki

Every Wednesday, the children’s section of the Kallio library is full of strollers parked side by side. The explanation for this is the BabyKino (trans. BabyCinema), which is organized in the library’s space called Satulinna and has gained great popularity among families with babies, which gathers parents and babies from the surrounding area for a movie experience.

Social Interaction While Watching a Movie

The Kallio library, which operates as a branch library of the Helsinki City Library, has a long tradition of offering movie experiences to parents of small babies. The very popular BabyKino events have been organized at the library since 2010, and many parents have made this movie club a part of their baby’s everyday life.

Special library clerk Janne Palander, who is in charge of events, has a long experience in organizing BabyKino. “It has been a pleasure for me to be in charge of BabyKino! Our movie club offers our customers a nice moment of childhood and the opportunity to get to know people in a similar life situation,” describes Palander.

“The event has not had to be marketed in particular, because the word about this free film event has spread well to families with babies in the surrounding area. Many people bring their friends to BabyKino, who then often continue to visit us,” says Palander.

BabyKino’s purpose is to offer movie experiences, but the most important thing in this event is the people. The movie club offers a natural meeting place for people at the same stage of life, as the daily life of small children can sometimes feel lonely for parents as well. Babies can play with their peers while watching a movie, and parents can exchange news.

In addition to the fact that the library’s circular Satulinna space has fixed presentation technology, efforts have also been made to make the space as comfortable as possible for babies and parents. You can watch the movie sitting comfortably on a bean bag chair. The facilities include a microwave oven for heating milk, a water point, highchairs and a nursery.

BabyKino Event Goes on the Babies’ Terms

Baby Kino only shows films suitable for all ages, as the audience includes the youngest. The sounds of the film are intentionally kept quieter than normal and the space is dimly lit. Although these events are social, they are often also a good time for babies to take a nap. Parents can then enjoy watching the movie in peace.

“We always organize two film screenings on Wednesdays. Before the state of emergency caused by the corona, we used to have up to twenty spectators at a time. During the Corona period, we have aimed for the highest possible health safety, and during this time only 6 people have been able to watch the screen at a time,” says Palander.

“When organizing BabyKino, of course we have to take care of copyrights. Our library has acquired Vuosilupa. This makes it easier to manage performance permits, since they do not have to be obtained for each performance,” says Palander.