1st Yr Review July 2013

A first-year review of FILMBOX – How successful have we been?


QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH for period 26 September 2012-17 July 2013:

  • How many films have we shown?
    • We have shown a total of 14 films in 11 months, representing an average of 1.3 per month.
  • What kind of films have we shown so far? 
    • We have shown:
      • 9 Short films
      • 4 World cinema films
      • 3 US ‘indie films’
      • 3 British films
      • 2 Classic Hollywood films
      • 2 Contemporary Hollywood films.
  • How many people have come to see our films?
    • In total our admissions for this period have been 1685.
  • Box Office statistics:
    • Studio 609 (84 sellable seats): average 91% occupancy.
    • Bromley Hall (244-373 seats – 2 seating plans): average 59% occupancy.
    • 5 out of a total of 9 films shown in Studio 609 had 100% occupancy
    • We understand that the BFI’s South Bank venues have an average occupancy of 45%, so we’re doing really well.
  • Members (a pilot 6 month scheme Jan-July 2013): 93 members.


Here is a selection of recent emails from patrons and members from July 2013 solicited expressly to ascertain what our patrons think of us and how we could improve FILMBOX for them.

We received a total of 49 replies in a short turnaround time of 4 days and thank everyone who took the time to respond.

We asked 3 questions:

A)     What do you like about FILMBOX so far?

B)      What could we do better?

C)      What developments or special features would you like to see in the future?

“Having been a member since its inception I am delighted at the variety of films that have been on offer.  We have seen films that we would not have chosen to see otherwise.  It is a nice mix of film and social life in the local community with an option to discuss and influence screenings. Putting films on slightly more frequently and on different nights of the week would be a good idea, so that more potential members could be accommodated. More of the same, Filmbox seems to be a step ahead with ideas and developments! Regards, SD”

“A) What do you like about FILMBOX so far?

I really enjoy Filmbox as I think it provides a great opportunity to see those films that you might have missed in the past, but also encourages you to go and see films that you probably wouldn’t have bothered to go and see at the cinema – e.g. the film I saw last night Untouchable which was extremely enjoyable.  It makes use of existing facilities which is an excellent idea.  It is very good value and the ice cream is wonderful!  It is also very well run by Vivienne, Sarah and the other volunteers – great job, thank you!

B) What could we do better? Cannot think of any improvements at present.

C) What developments or special features would you like to see in the future? It would be nice if there was a possibility of obtaining recent films more quickly after their general release instead of having to wait for a much longer time as is the case at present. Kind regards, KK.”

“Have been a member almost since Filmbox inception.  Lovely idea, excellent venue(s), nice to see films on big screen with like-minded people.  Happy about the choice of films so far, looking forward to more screenings come September. Good value for money.  More money could be raised if refreshments were a little more than crisps, but prices are good.  Could the raffle be a little more adventurous, maybe ask for donations, I  would be happy to contribute  the odd bottle of wine or whatever. Only minor criticism – maybe too much talking and introductions – let`s get straight into the film. Best wishes, JB”

“A) Relatively cheap tickets; no commercial ads; not so overpoweringly loud; Easy parking; no popcorn; informative programme notes; friendly. Enjoyable introductory extras. – Had more or less given up going to the cinema because of the current format with no interval and deafening sound. Film Box has changed that.

B) A little more light in refreshment area. Handrails to help descend after the film. Perhaps less/no spoken introduction.  A few more smaller raffle prizes. 

C) Handrails as above. Series of films featuring a particular Actor/Actress/subject/genre etc.  I should like to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and one or two early films from my youth if available – ‘A Kid for two (three?) Farthings’; ‘Hotel ……’ – comedy set in N. Africa during the war with Peter Ustinov; ‘Black Narcissus’; ‘African Queen’, ‘Red Shoes’; Blithe Spirit. Last night’s film (Untouchable) was definitely my kind of film and would not hesitate to see it again in the future.   Was not so keen on ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ – found it hard to follow the dialogue. JP”

“A) What do you like about FILMBOX so far? Such a fantastic project. Really great choice of films and good communication.

B) What could we do better? Offer a different day of the week. I joined Filmbox because I wanted to support the project but I can’t make Wednesdays!

C) What developments or special features would you like to see in the future? Classic films on a Friday or Sat early evening for the family (eg Chaplin, Losey, …) to build up their film culture. Thank you for all that you do! E”

“A) What do you like about FILMBOX so far? We are very much enjoying Filmbox – it’s brought such a wide range of films to our attention.  It’s a wonderful local addition. It is accessed so easily; from the booking system to parking. We are always given a warm welcome when we arrive and receive informative introductions before each screening.

B) What could we do better? I am happy so far – I’m pleased we’ll have more choice when you have more frequent screenings.

C) What developments or special features would you like to see in the future? I would love having access to new films as I go to the cinema fairly frequently and have often already seen the films you are showing. A.”

“I’m delighted to respond to your request.

A)What do you like about FILMBOX so far? I absolutely love the FILMBOX community cinema. Having always loved film, and often been frustrated by the lack of variety and the cost of my local Odeon cinema. FILMBOX does have a wonderful community feel, run and staffed by volunteers, who are passionate about what they are doing. I meet my friend (we have always been film buddies), we have a glass of wine and some nibbles ( often free from local sources) and not forgetting the delicious locally sourced ice cream! Then watch and often classic film…I’m in heaven.

B) What could we do better? I can’t think of anything which could improve the FILBOX experience, except perhaps being able to take drink into the larger cinema, but can understand the risk of spillage.

C) What developments or special features would you like to see in the future? It would be great to be able to see current films during their natural ‘run’ DE”

“A) I like being able to go to the cinema locally in a small, relaxed, friendly, atmosphere.    I like the fact that it is a community theatre making use of a community facility.   I like the fact that we are seeing films that we probably wouldn’t otherwise watch.   I like the fact that the pupils are encouraged to take an active role in running a show.

B) At the moment I can’t think of anything you could do better.

C) The events cinema features would be an excellent addition. AD”

“A) What do you like about FILMBOX so far?

I like Filmbox for its relaxed atmosphere and unpretentious approach to showing films. I also like the idea of working with, not just the school community in devising ways of utilising the musical talents within the school but also reaching out into the wider community and inviting local craft beer and cider makers, bakeries and ice cream makers in to sell their produce. There has also been an excellent and varied programme that has both challenged and entertained.

B) What could we do better? Unfortunately the environment outside of the auditoriums is very much a school – I think it will be important, in the future, to try and develop a more ‘bar’ like area to serve drinks and relax in.

C) What developments or special features would you like to see in the future? Maybe a Saturday morning family show. A weekend of Films made in London and the southeast with lecturers and displays. CN”

“A)     So many things……excellent, varied, well-chosen films.  Welcoming, comfortable atmosphere.  Always informative, added extras, such as singers at Christmas for ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, film introductions from staff/students (which are always well researched and interesting), short films and printed programmes.  The facilities are exceptional, the studios are clean, air conditioned, seats comfortable and parking is easy. I am always well informed as to what is going on via email.  There is the opportunity to buy a drink before each film in a sociable seated area and wonderful ice cream during the film! For members there is a loyality card for drinks. Some evenings have been themed and have offered samples of food from local suppliers. The volunteers are very friendly and have done an amazing job over the last year.  Each showing feels like a rather special event.

B)     I honestly cannot think of anything that could be done better!

C)     Developments, special features….I am happy to led by what has so far been an extremely interesting and varied programme.  I have been to most films since the showing of The Artist and never been disappointed. Looking forward to The Great Gatsby event in August. LH”

“Although I have not managed to attend as many of the screenings as I would have liked, I have seen two films which I missed when they were on general release (“Midnight in Paris” and Les MIserables”).  What I really like about the film-going experience at Filmbox is (a) it’s local and so easy to get to (b) the pre-film entertainments make it a really special event (I loved the singing before Les Mis)and (c) because it is a local community cinema, you are pretty much guaranteed to meet someone you know in the foyer beforehand.  I have also managed to see some old favourites like the Christmas screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and, although I have not made it to any of them,  I think it’s great that the schedule includes some more unusual films. The interval ice creams are a lovely touch (love the honeycomb, so would be great to try some other flavours). Going to the cinema used to be a once in a blue moon event for me (unless I was taking my kids to see Despicable Me or HP 1-7). Not anymore thanks to Filmbox!  Well Done Filmbox Team. Kind regards – LDF”

“Filmbox community cinema at Langley Park Boys School in Beckenham is a wonderful new regular community event run by LPBS teacher Vivienne Clark and her media students from the school. It’s a grass-roots fan-based start-up business which gives young people a great opportunity to not only share their passion about film, display some of their own film making projects and study the classics, but also involves them right through the whole process of programming, promoting and producing the events. This unique project gives the students not only a sense of ownership in the events taking place, but also gives them some valuable experience in developing key skills such as marketing and entrepreneurialism. Things that are essential in the competitive modern world where passion and enthusiasm for your art form are not enough anymore. – B.B.”

FILMBOX evaluation of July 2013 audience feedback – a summary:

  • We had already decided by May 2013 to offer fortnightly films and alternate between Wednesdays and Thursdays so more people can attend and provide more choice of films (as from September 2013).
  • We will be looking at increasing the variety of our bar snacks offer.
  • We are currently getting a quote for hand-rails for Studio 609.
  • We will be introducing the BFFS slip system for evaluating films after each screening from September so we can publish scores on the website.
  • We will consider reducing our introductory sections to just one, between the short film and the main film, during the ice cream break (or keep them shorter).
  • We want to explore ways of making a FILMBOX experience more interactive.
  • We plan to develop a Survey Monkey online questionnaire so that we can undertake more detailed audience feedback analysis next year.

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