For me, moving to Philadelphia decreased the amount of movies I saw in the theater, probably, 95%. There just is something about the accessibility to pretty much everything that I could ever want (specifically: beer, mussels, wine, ice cream) that pushes my suburban movie night tendencies to the back of my mind.
This little lack of cinema knowledge caused a problem for me a few short months ago. Sure, I like award season just as much as the average woman who can appreciate J. Law & Amy Adams in some fabulous new frock . . . but I was missing the movies. This past year, the only Oscar nominated film I saw (and loved) was Dallas Buyer’s Club, forcing all of my choices for who should win each award to fall on said movie. With an idea from my friend Jean and a true yearning to expand my horizons, I started my own Philly Movie Club. And here is how you can do it too.
Step 1: Create a group & invite all of your Philly friends, not just one friend circle. I used Facebook because it is simple and gives me the ability to speak to a lot of people at once, but you could also create an email group if that is easiest way to get the word out to your crew.
Step 2: Explain to your friends what the club is. In your intro to the group, let your buds know that attending events is totally optional, but that you will still be there no matter what. Here is how I communicated this:
Hi Philly friends! So I have shared this with most of you, but I want to start seeing more movies…mainly so I have some idea of what’s happening at these award show things.
Basically my plan is to just post a new movie, date & time once a month. If you can make it, great. If not, no biggie. If any week nights don’t work for certain people, lemmie know so I can pick different evenings.
Feel free to invite any Philly friends to join in on the fun! Oh, and if you hate movies and fun and friends and want to remove yourself from this group, I won’t be offended 😉
I’m planning for our first movie to be the week of Feb 17th, so GET EXCITED!
Step 3: Plan your first event. I have found Landmark Theatres (the Ritzs) are the most easily accessible for my group, and they post movie times about one week in advance. It’s good to let people know the film in advance so they can get in the mood for it. I’m sure movie theaters like this will be able to showcase any of your own films too if you’re an avid filmmaker. As long as you have access to the best dcp software that you can find, then it shouldn’t be a problem. You should even put adverts at the start to make it all the more professional. At least you have films that you can watch though, and knowing about them in advance can be even better. This can be tough since people’s schedules fill up quickly, but give it a go anyway.
Step 4: Let your members know about your first flick. I create an event on Facebook, and made sure I include the movie title, theater address, time the movie start & ends, where to buy tickets, and the official trailer and website. You could even host one at home if someone has a home cinema or if someone knows some hifi installers to ensure you get great sound quality. The options are endless!
Step 5: Send a reminder on the event the day before or day of, head down to the theatre, and enjoy!
My “club” is now in its third month has been a lot of fun to maintain. It has allowed me to see movies I wouldn’t have otherwise seen, plus enjoy some light banter with my fellow Philly movie enthusiasts on the bus rides home. Check out the movie theaters near you for special discounts – Landmark has $7 ticket Wednesdays + a discounted 5 movie pass that I have taken advantage of. Good luck!