WE ARE LISTENING!
We are happy to publish the results of our recent Side Cinema survey and are very grateful to all of the 122 people who took part online.
All of the information we received is available for you to read here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/sr.aspx? sm=8O_2b90YKMZD35Lvsz4Vxpt80DdGZMNCrvsqH8Xg7NPS8_3d
Please find a summary of our findings below:
It was good to hear that over 80% of the survey participants had visited Side Cinema at some point, which, considering we have a barely non-existent marketing budget, is fairly impressive, although we have been open for over 30 years, so maybe that’s not as impressive as it sounds. The majority of people said they are moderately likely to visit us and over half had been once or twice in the last year, so there is obviously room for the love to grow here!
The main reasons you stated that you don’t attend is because of the day/time of screenings, when asked what would be the best day, Thursday came out top, which is great as it’s the day we currently screen films, however, the entire back end of the week was popular with Saturdays being the second option. This is useful to know should we secure funding to provide an extended weekly programme.
The second most popular reason for non-attendance was that 26% of you are unaware of our film programme. When asked how you would like to find out, email (85.9%) was by far the most popular option, followed by Facebook , the cinema entrance board and a printed brochure.
We currently advertise our programme using online resources including email, website, Facebook and Twitter, but are committed to being more consistent and timely with our information updates.
Due to funding constraints re-instating the printed brochure is somewhat more difficult, however, should the cinema be successful in securing funding, we will endeavour to provide this method of communication.
It was interesting to discover that only 12.1% were interested in posters as a method of communication, as this is a form of advertising we currently employ. Therefore, we will investigate if the small advertising budget can be spent on more worthwhile forms of communication.
It was very encouraging to read that 95% were happy with their experiences of Side Cinema and non-one was moderately or extremely dissatisfied.
We were very happy to read what it is you like most about Side Cinema, (everyone likes a compliment or two, even cinemas). There were so many positive answers, but the main strengths that were raised time and again were: small scale, independent, intimate, friendly, atmosphere, diverse programme, which is exactly what we’re aiming for, so we must be doing something right!
It was very interesting and perhaps more helpful for us to hear how we could make your visits to Side Cinema more pleasurable. Again, there were many valid and interesting responses. Although a number of you are happy with it
‘just the way it is’, many pointed us constructively towards what could be improved.
Thankfully, most of the suggestions were already on our ‘to do’ list and included: better heating, more screenings and improved screening technology and equipment.
Due to Side Cinema currently being unfunded and fully reliant on Amber Collective members volunteering their time, we are unable to initiate all of the improvements that we would like to make at present time, however, it is useful to have a’ list’, as we are in the process of completing a fundraising strategy.
We are aware that the heating is sometimes an issue, as the two radiators located in the cinema have definitely seen better days and are extremely uneconomical. We also realise that compared to modern cinemas, our 1930s seating, which was taken from the Wallaw in Blyth, may be uncomfortable for some people and especially during longer films. Although we are unable to change them at present time, it is definitely something we will keep in mind for the future.
Providing and extended programme is again dependent upon funding, but we have implemented specialist screenings such as the photography based film group and are on the look out for anyone who may be interested in helping to organise other such monthly events, so if you are interested, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We were also able to purchase a Blu-Ray player for the cinema, thus improving the quality of the screenings.
One person did comment that films should start at the advertised time and we agree! We will make every effort for this to happen in future.
78% thought our pricing was about right, however, 13.5% did feel that £5/£4 concessions was slightly too high. The reason we are unable to make ticket prices any cheaper is largely due to the licence fees imposed by distributers.
The average licence fee is approximately £175 - £200. If every seat was sold at the full price of £5 and therefore discounting the large number of concessionary tickets we sell, income could only be a maximum of £255, which would leave us with approx £55-80 to cover all other costs including rent, rates, electricity, cleaning and not including any staff costs. As we hope you will understand, it is virtually impossible for the cinema ever to make a profit at the current tariff, hence we are unable to reduce our ticket prices.
When asked what sort of films you are interested in watching, the response was very diverse and hopefully we will be able to cater for most tastes listed at some point in our programming. We are keen for this to happen through crowd programming or to put it more simply, by you, the visitor getting involved.
It was heartening to see that over 57.5% of people said they would be interested in having an input into which films we screen at Side Cinema. This initiative has already begun, with the photo films group on facebook: (http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/200749873362639/) and will hopefully extend in the not so distant future to include a regular monthly screening, dedicated to documentary or social issues for which 40.8% of you were keen to see happen.
A whopping 86.4% of you are interested in watching both new and old regionally produced films and 50.9% of local filmmakers responded positively to the suggestion of screening their work before the main feature.
73.8% of you said you do and would like to have discussions after the screenings, we are very happy to hear this, as it’s something in which we are particularly interested. We think the suggestion to have a break between the screening and the discussion to give people who don’t wish to take part; the opportunity to leave without feeling under any pressure to stay is a very good one and is something we will do.
65% of you said that you would be more likely to come to a screening that included a guest speaker and we have found that when this has happened in the past, these events are usually well attended. Again, this is something we will consider where relevant and possible.
Finally, once again, we are very grateful for all of the answers, comments and suggestions, they really have given us a clear idea of what we do well, what we can improve and how we can move forward, however, we welcome comments and suggestions at anytime. If you would like to add anything please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
All at Amber Film & Photography Collective CIC
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