Bringing the film society back to life

The Film Society starts its 2022 2023 season on 12th September with Parallel Mothers a film by Pedro Almodóvar.  When premiered at the Venice Film Festival it was a film described as ‘positively ringing with life’.  After a difficult few years we definitely want to bring the film society back to life.

After restarting the film society this spring to previous members from our 2020/ 2021 season cut short by Covid, the committee reviewed where we were in terms of membership, how we select films and most importantly how we encourage greater attendance to the films.  We agreed a number of changes which we hope will encourage the return of film goers and enable the Film Society to be a proactive contributor to the Millgate Theatre community.As a member of Cinema For All, the body which is the trading name of the British Federation of Film Societies, we get access to new films which support our intent of showing predominantly modern but challenging films which would not be available locally and whilst some will be available on mainstream streaming services around the time of our screening others will be more difficult to find.

Having learnt how other similar societies market their events, we can now make the event open to anyone to attend, so tickets can now be purchased via ticketsource or on the night.  Whilst we really value our long term annual subscribers, we want to encourage an open house and we know that people who drop into one film may then find that they want to come to future films or indeed other Millgate Theatre events.

We have worked hard over the summer publicising the future through all our normal routes but also worked hard on social media first by making sure we have up to date contacts for our legacy members list of 100+ subscribers and ensuring we communicate via mail chimp and also via Facebook.  We are very grateful to Andrew Mann and Michael Powis for their fantastic support to incorporate the Film Society into all Millgate Arts Centre communication tools.

Our objectives through this season are to rebuild our attendance so that we return to being a sustainable Film Society where our income from seats covers all our costs.  Our finance projections and seat costs suggest we will need around 70.  Our ticket sales are growing every day and the approach to sell via ticket source has already created sales even in the first week so we are hopeful we can meet those attendance levels.  Beyond the point of ensuring the Film Society is viable, we really do want to do everything we can to contribute to the Millgate Theatre Community.  We hope our films will draw in new attendance to the theatre who may then wish to explore all the theatre has to offer, and as a community of film lovers we would relish the chance to contribute where we can use film as part of joint events.

The Film Society would like to pass on a big thankyou to Howard Wrigley who has now retired as chair and projectionist after many years of constant service.  Howard is a film fanatic; he always has a good recommendation whenever you meet him and his investment in time to the Film Society has been considerable. 

Film continues to be a positive medium enriched in our opinion by the big streaming services investment, predominantly in blockbusters but from that wealth of riches chasing more dollars from a Lord of the Rings franchise there is a vibrant film community which will make little gems such as Petit Maman, our second film on 10th October.  We hope to see you there.

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