New memberships sales paused

My, how we’ve grown!

In recent weeks, Wellington Film Society has enjoyed unprecedented membership growth. While we are thrilled so many Wellingtonians want to share in the magic that comes from watching films on the big screen, we have now had two screenings where we have not been able to accommodate everyone who came to see the film.

We hate turning people away. As a result, the WFS Committee has decided to pause all new memberships, both annual and 3-Film Sampler, until further notice. 

Current Members can still renew

Current members will still be able to renew their memberships when they become due, and current 3-Film Sampler holders can upgrade to an annual membership, as promised when the 3-Film Sampler was purchased.

We hope that this measure will enable us to keep attendance levels at a manageable level, across the year. However, predicting attendance is not an exact science and we also don’t wish to overly limit membership and leave plenty of seats available in the cinema that could be filled by excited members. We will continue to balance these factors.

Unlike commercial cinemas, we sell memberships, not tickets or seats to a film screening. This is to comply with the screening rights we negotiate with distributors. We believe that that the measure we have taken this week will reduce the chance of full houses in the future, but it is still possible.

We’ll continue to closely monitor our membership and attendance numbers, and look forward to updating members, our website and social media channels to restart new memberships sales as soon as we are able.


  1. Good morning. Good on the committee for responding to this situation. I wonder if it might be a better longterm solution to add a on-the-day ticketing solution, whereby members definitely intending to come that night signal that through use of a free online service such as Event Bright. I’d suggest it should come online late, perhaps noon on the day of each screening, as this should prevent people just block booking the whole season ahead of time without a specific intention to come to each screening. This way an overflow will be self-managing, as last-minute people (often including myself) can see for themselves whether they can get a seat before they head to the cinema. That might still be disapoointing, but much less disruptive for them. We used Event Bright to manage an Embassy screening of “Helen Kelly – Together” and it worked extremely well. Tony Sutorius, Director & Producer

    • Thanks Tony – we will definitely keep thinking about ways to improve systems. We want a system that works well for all WFS members who range from teenagers to people in their 80s (at least)!

    • Hi Paula, Yes – you have one ‘Bring a Buddy’ clip on your Full Membership card. Just show this at the door when you bring your guest.

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