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A Town and Gown Cinema: Developing Audiences at the Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Brydon, Lavinia, Topp, Dominic (2021) A Town and Gown Cinema: Developing Audiences at the Gulbenkian, Canterbury. In: Beyond the Multiplex, March 2021, Glasgow, UK. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:88267)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
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Abstract

This paper presents the findings of an on-going project on audience-development strategies used by the Gulbenkian cinema, an independent 300-seat venue that forms part of a multifunctional arts centre situated on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus and is a short walk from the city centre. The Gulbenkian’s geographical position means that it caters for different (but not necessarily mutually exclusive) audience strands, including local East Kent residents and the university’s staff and students. As part of the Gulbenkian’s remit to offer innovative and high quality arts activity, with a particular focus on the creative empowerment of young people, the cinema employs a range of strategies to engage, develop and grow its audience.Drawing on interviews with the Gulbenkian’s programme manager and a group of undergraduate students at the university, the paper first examines some of the challenges that are faced by a cinema that seeks to appeal to diverse and distinct audiences, and the negotiations that must be made between mainstream cinema and more specialised fare. It then outlines particular initiatives that have been developed to tap into the various demographics that the cinema serves: the ART31 Youth Board ensuring activity for young people is made with young people (13-25); a student film programmers group (part of the Young Film Programmer’s network, coordinated by Film Hub South East) designed to increase students’ knowledge of independent film by getting them involved in curating and coordinating screenings; film introductions and post-screening discussions using the expertise of the university’s academic staff; and portions of the programme designed for specialised sections of the local population (e.g. monthly screenings for those with autism and learning disabilities). Finally, the paper evaluates the success of these various initiatives, in terms of both box office revenue and audience experience, and points to further areas for development.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts > Centre for Film, Media and Cultural Research
Depositing User: Lavinia Brydon
Date Deposited: 20 May 2021 08:53 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2021 17:42 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/88267 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Brydon, Lavinia: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3891-0398
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