Survey looks at social media and cinemas

Support your local Cinema is a survey investigating the use of social media by so-called “art-house” cinemas. The survey points to the Glasgow Film Theatre as one social media success story. The cinema has been making money despite the hard economic times, increasing its box office by 33 per cent over the past 3 years.

In addition to having a website site, the GFT posts its discounts on Twitter and has a Facebook page on which it announces its special events.

Showing over 600 quality films every year, it is also the home of the Glasgow Film Festival.┬áVisiting the GFT’s website, I found the cinema was offering The Ghost Writer, Ghost World and other fine and interesting films from the past as well as on current release. And yes, you can buy tickets on line as well as contact the theatre with any questions you may have.

The cinema also offers courses, and after the screening of one film, they’re having a Skype interview with some of the film’s actors.

Something different on offer is autism-friendly screenings. According the GFT website, these screenings are in an “environment … suitable for children with autism spectrum disorders and/or sensory hypersensitivity. The films have no subtitles, are played with the volume reduced and the house lights on low. Children can make noise and move around. Children with other disabilities are welcome to attend the screenings too.”

Among the promos the GFT has is “Orange Wednesdays”, where customers of movie services provider Orange can get 2 tickets for the price of 1 on Wednesdays via text messaging. A similar promo is connected with a local newspaper.

The GFT also offers good old-fashioned brochures. Its brochures are distributed across Glasgow in racks found in cultural venues, bars, cafes and tourist attractions. A list of major venues that stock the brochures is wisely found on the website. The cinema also distributes them to eight main libraries, which in turn distribute to every library across the Greater Glasgow area. And if after all that you still can’t find a brochure there’s a telephone number to call to get one.

While I saw no mention of twitter on the webpage, film devotees can sign up to an enewsletter.

The cinema’s Facebook page is more subdued, but equally informative. There you’ll find its addresses for twitter, MySpace, as well as all the tweets, updates and such – all in a well-organized and unfrenetic space. More – and different! – things, including a blog, are located on the MySpace page.

Conclusion: The Glasgow Film Theatre seems to be a wonderful organisation with something to offer being smart in its use of social networks.

“Support your local Cinema” is coordinated by, and is financing supported by the European Union’s audiovisual support initiative MEDIA.

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