New website and an old article about the origins of Moviola

Hi there,

We thought we would start the Bedwyn Moviola blog off with a little history of Moviola and how it got started.

2001 wasn’t just a Kubrick classic, it was the year that Moviola Programme Director Phill Walkley first thought up what was then called Dorset Film Touring. It was apparent that people living in the countryside wanted to see the latest movies just as much as anyone else, but many found it far too much hassle to drive to the nearest town, pay for parking, and then cough-up over the odds for a seat among other noisy, chattering, grab-bag rustling, mobile-ring-tone-playing ‘patrons’. What the town and city multiplexes were offering was simply not sufficiently appealing.

So beginning with a van, a screen and a professional sound system, Phill started travelling to remote village halls, setting up a projector, and showing short features along with the main features to audiences around and about Dorset. These early film evenings soon became an essential night out for people who would otherwise have to wait for films to show up on the television – or miss out on them completely. The format was (and still is) redolent of the glory days of cinema with a hand-picked short support feature, an interval and refreshments. Communities soon found these evenings were not only a chance to catch up on the latest cinema releases, but with friends and neighbours.

Becoming Moviola in 2009, the company bring the cinema experience to village halls in 5 southern counties, with shows every day of the month in Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Hampshire or Wiltshire. With the addition of the Associates scheme (community associations who undertake their own projection and promotion, but rely on Moviola for films, shorts, trailers, and to take the misery out of licensing paperwork), Moviola’s reach now extends as far as Orkney.

However, even though Moviola is a registered charity and keeps ticket prices and costs as low as possible to enable more village halls to join, it receives absolutely no government support.

So before you order that blockbuster DVD online, why not see if your village hall runs a Moviola night and see it on the big screen first?

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