Club’s use it or lose it choice


When Rye Community Centre Film Club held its second Annual Meeting this month, a large question mark hung over its future.

The AGM was held prior to showing “Woman in Gold” and some 36 members and members of the public turned up to a interesting meeting and excellent film.

However Chairman John Holbrook said: “For the past 18 years the Film Club has been providing a monthly film which has always had good audiences. But, as you know, we now have a new Kino in town, offering the latest films in a comfortable cinema with food and drink seven days a week.

“It is a great asset to the town bringing in a wider audience from the surrounding area. We are not trying to compete with the Kino, but rather to run parallel with it. The Film Club can offer a good choice of ‘Rye Films’ with a large screen and a reasonably priced bar tariff – and all this in a friendly atmosphere run by enthusiastic volunteers.

“However, the reality is that our audiences are declining, from the heyday of 70+ people to a mere fifteen. This of course does not make economic sense and, although we are not aiming to make a profit, over the years the Rye Film Club has been contributing to the Community Centre.

“The Committee has looked at various ways of reversing this downward trend, such as joint ventures with local charities, film and food, foreign film nights but all these ideas need to be supported.

“It is worth remembering:

  • Firstly, the cost is a mere £2 per film! In these cost-conscious days it’s certainly a bargain.
  • You’ll always find that Rye Community Centre is warm, friendly and welcoming, offering high quality ‘Surround Sound’ and high definition projection facilities, with padded seats for your comfort.
  • And another factor worth taking into account for those of us who enjoy a glass of wine. The Film Club’s licensed bar offers the most competitive prices for drinks in Rye, as little as half the price of some other establishments.
  • Also , it’s worth reiterating that the Film Club at the Community Centre enjoys disabled parking and wheelchair access.

“But we have reached the Post Office/corner shop syndrome which is – use it, or lose it. Your Committee has therefore decided to review the situation in six months before making any final decision on the future of the Club.”

Comments from the audience were varied, some asked for more foreign films, while others pleaded for films without sub-titles. It was suggested that the Club could show two films a month, the second perhaps during the week, and it was generally agreed to continue with the more mainstream popular films.  All thanked the Committee for their help and enthusiasm in keeping the Club going.

John thanked both Anne Ulman and Heidi Foster for their contribution to the Film Club over many years as they had decided not to stand again.  The following were then duly elected to serve for the coming yearChair – John Holbrook, Rita Kirk – Secretary, Rebekah Gilbert – Box Office, Neale East – PRO, Philip Romani, Nick Roberts and Paul Carey – Production Team and Geoff Boudreau – Producer and Consultant.

Films are shown at the Rye Community Centre on Conduit Hill on the first Friday of the month. The Film Club has a full programme for the next few months. Please follow the link to the 2016 Programme for details and contact us via our Rye Film Club website to go on our email mailing list.


Image: Rye Film Club

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