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The Courtyard Arts Centre in Hereford undertook an intensive research project strategising and using audience development initiatives to examine local film audiences. Over a period of 8-9 weeks many different areas of Herefordshire and beyond were surveyed on various aspects of their cinema experience, both at the Arts Centre and other local community areas.
The research project uncovered favourite genres, preferred cinema experience and customer’s key motivations for picking certain films; also highlighted interesting information surrounding booking patterns, audience cross-over with other venues and insight into family behaviours with film. Also from this data, The Courtyard collected statistics on other factors that determine people’s behaviour surrounding film such as :
• 78% of the total respondents attend film at The Courtyard four or more times a year.
• Trailers, word of mouth and print proved the most effective for informing the public about new releases
Other facts unveiled that people’s favourite faces on the big screen were that of Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Kristin Scott-Thomas and Leonardo DiCaprio, and that many people attend film because of a nostalgic attachment they have of the cinema-going experience.
These findings were presented to programming representatives from regional cinema houses and arts centres including The Watershed in Bristol, Artrix of Bromsgrove, The Roses in Tewkesbury, Booth’s Cinema in Hay on Wye, Tenbury Regal and Borderlines Film Festival. In the coming weeks a comprehensive report will be collated with The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury agreeing to pick up the project and continue the research by undertaking their own audience development cinema project. These findings will then be added to The Courtyard’s findings with a view to each venue contributing and sharing research data to better understand film audiences across the region.