24th August 2012 newsletter

A significant development

We do not usually send ABCD members messages in August, but this year there is important news. Abingdon and Witney College told us a couple of months ago that we could not be guaranteed the use of the Lecture Theatre (on Abingdon Campus) beyond the end of 2012, as redevelopment of that part of the building could start in January 2013, after which we understand there may not be a Lecture Theatre. We have no cause to feel unjustly treated, as we know the Lecture Theatre has not really fitted the College’s needs for quite some time and in any case the College has been a generous and encouraging host to us for almost 40 years.

The news set us in motion and we have considered various premises that we might use from January. We wanted a venue not too big, not too small, one that had a good feel, and was keen to have us. Of course we have a range of requirements regarding size of room, suitability for projection, parking availability, blackout arrangements, etc. We hope that we might have found one venue but are still negotiating on the details and will let you know as soon as we can on the outcome.

However, to be realistic, we have to prepare for the possibility that we will be showing our films in the new year somewhere not yet established and perhaps not even on Thursdays – a busy night in Abingdon. One thing is clear: we will not know the solution to our problem for some time. In all these circumstances we have decided:

  • only to offer in September a membership which covers the ten films up to Christmas and the annual silent (on March 7), screened at Saint Nicolas’ Church. Members will be invited to rejoin for the second half of the season when our venue and showing day are confirmed.
  • to publish our annual brochure including all the films we would like to screen from October 4 through until early May, making clear which screenings are not yet confirmed.

The cost of a single membership (covering eleven screenings, as mentioned above) will be £32. We think this is a very reasonable subscription, equivalent to less than £3 per screening. We will need fairly soon to purchase a new projector, at over £5000, so our considerable reserves will be reduced by well over 50%. We clearly have to budget to recoup this money over time, because this is not the era of substantial and easily found grants.

We think the films in the first half are a really good, varied selection. There will be full info in the annual brochure which will come out early in September. Clearly we are relying on finding quite a lot of new members and we are hoping that you will help us to do this.

Best wishes for the rest of the summer from your committee.

PS Please send any comments and queries about this message to info@abfilms.org.uk .

PPS If you know any ABCD members who don’t do email, could you print out this message and pass it to them? Likewise if you know any former members. We plan a membership drive at the very beginning of January.