Acton Arts CIC / ActOne Cinema
A G M Minutes
Wednesday 14th June 2023
Managers present: Ivan Dorrell-Stern
Apologies: Peter Truesdale, and Lucy Burnham
1) CHAIRS REPORT: Bart relayed the report (below) to those present with illustrations from the projected deck prepared by Lucy. The report deals with significant events from November 2021 – November 2022; the highlights of the first year of operations: the taking over of the café, the third crowdfunding campaign to fund screen 2, the party to close the gallery, and the construction of the second screens and looking forward to operations with both screens.
2) FINANCE REPORT: The audited company accounts were not available at the time of the meeting as they have not been finalised.
Peter was not present but Bart summarised the finances from the report.
This included an overview of the finances from November to the present.
Despite the adverse factors: the cost of living/the lack of film content / the energy costs, the cinema continues to meet financial challenges until there is an upturn in customer retention. We have been focusing on special events such as Q&As, National Theatre and Exhibition On Screen screenings to boost ticket sales.
3) APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS: It has been pre-agreed by the directors to retain the same posts i.e. we wish Bart Govaert to remain as Chair for the next year and Nick Jones as Vice-Chair. Peter Truesdale remains as Treasurer and Amanda Mason as Secretary.
Questions from the audience:
Whether Acton Arts will seek charitable status: This has been considered and may be re-visited as an action for the future.
If the cinema will get Opera Live: We have had a lot of success with National Theatre Live and Exhibition on Screen and would, therefore, like to screen Opera. Considerations are to do with the equipment needed and associated costs.
Will we screen Vermeer again: There have been several requests for this and we will look into booking a further repeat.
On the functionality of the new website: There was a query about the visibility of the programme on the new website which was noted by the manager.
If the Ealing Project has had a significant impact on sales: There was some discussion around this. We cannot be certain if the Ealing cinema is taking our audience. Still, we acknowledge that they can offer cheaper tickets and that the venue is popular with a younger demographic, presumably because of the location (shops etc). Steps we have taken to counter this: we have recently launched a free ‘Under 30s Membership’ deal, continue to use social media extensively, and plan for more special events that will appeal to a wider demographic.
Chairs Report 2023
Acton Arts Project has re-purposed the Old Library building on Acton High Street into a sustainable two-screen cinema and café. We continue to welcome all the community into the building while maintaining the Passmore Edwards legacy and the heritage aspects of the building
THE COMPANY’S ACTIVITIES AND IMPACT
In the period from October 2021 – November 2022, the company was focused on operating the ActOne Cinema within the Old Library building. In October the CIC employed two venue managers and, before the end of the year, a further four box office staff were taken onto the payroll.
Bears Ice-Cream undertook the operation of the new café from October to July 2022 (they withdrew to focus on their other locations) when the ActOne team took over the running of the café, employed a further three staff and combined the café and box office operations. Acton Arts got the staff barista training- courtesy of Climpson & Sons, and we were ready to take on a new challenge.
Our activities in this period have included:
Engaging another team of volunteers to support sales and Front of House
Japanese Festival at the cinema late in 2021
Holding several very successful art exhibitions with local artists including Phillip Martin and Matt Small and collaborating with the JG Contemporary Gallery
In May 2022 we celebrated our Founder Membership with a special screening of Downton Abbey with special guests and Q&A
Taking part in the Acton Carnival in July 2022 by providing a technical hub
During the summer months, our contractors replaced the 50-year-old boiler in the basement with a new boiler and heating for each floor of the building
Achieving a Civic Society award for re-imagining a community space
In October we celebrated our first year anniversary with a party and a farewell to the gallery space
Developing our box office and working towards a new booking website
Delivering regular relaxed screenings for neurodiverse audiences
Delivering classic screenings for older customers and running weekly kids club for younger audiences
Delivering weekly Carers & Babies Club screenings
Running a third successful crowdfunding campaign and beginning the construction of a second screen (completed in January 2023)
Continuing our work with the community to showcase locally produced film and art
Continuing to develop local relationships with housing associations and other similar groups to further our reach
The STAKEHOLDERS of the company are:
The Rio Cinema Dalston – We are in regular consultation with our cinema operator who has led the construction and operation of the cinema, the implementation of systems and the training of the staff.
The Acton BID – who have supported and advised our project and donated significantly to our fundraising for the second screen.
Locality – who have supported our project with advice and guidance and an initial grant.
The tenants and partners in our project – the cinema operator and the occupants of the upper floor of the building.
London Borough of Ealing: staff and councillors continue to support our activities. We have provided a location for a public consultation meeting on the local development plan.
The local community:
we have 4000 subscribers to our newsletter
we have further supporters on social media:
2256 Twitter followers, 3160 Instagram followers and 1441 Facebook friends
during this year we have had invaluable front-of-house support from our team of 50 volunteers who worked a total of 668 hours.