History to mid 1970'sText from a poster dating from the mid-70s held in the Society's archives
The Society was formed in 1954, a rival to the Christchurch Film Society. Ngaio Marsh dubbed it 'The Little Film Society' At fist, it had eighty members. They met monthly at Walter Craven's 'Miniature Theatre' in Armagh St.
its first programme was:
Frenzy - Sweden, Olivia - France, Alexander Nevsky - USSR Nanook of the North - USA, The Blue Angel - Germany, Battleship Potempkin - USSR, Les Amants de Verone - France, The End of St Petersburg - USSR, Jour de Fette - France,
Until 1968, it screened nine films a year. it aimed to present films of the best artistic quality from as many countries as possible. - in other words: Sex, violence, and subtitles.
In 1959 it moved to the Museum Lecture Theatre.
But its 16mm projector didn't suit the Movie Club's speaker there.
About five years later, two new speakers were installed.
In 1960, it hoped to copy Auckland's Cinema 35 Club. It wanted to screen 35mm classics in the Plaza on Sundays. But Kerridge insisted on a capacity audience paying 3/- each. Worse, the City Council wouldn't let non-members attend.
The scheme fell through
Shortly After, Auckland's club was forced to close.
1965 brought crisis
The Society tried to form a Sumner branch, but failed, The Federation raised its levy, but supplied a poor programme. Reserves vanished. So did half the members. (Its AGM couldn't raise a quorum).
It crept gingerly through 1966
Then, in 1967, John Reid led it into the Students' Association. The Federation bitterly opposed this (as did Reid, later). But the Society stayed, squirming on G1's hard benches, and basking in Ilam's S1
Spools fell off projectors, projectionists locked themselves out of their booths, and the QE2 Arts Council Director lost his coat. But membership rose: in 1971 reaching 700. (which scared everyone, so they hid for three years).
The Society screened lunchtime films in the Ngaio Marsh Theatre. These were popular. But no one came in 1973 so it stopped them, after giving the theatre an anamorphic lens.
In 1974, it returned to the Museum Lecture Theatre, and relaxed in Room A1. It tried to set up a Lincoln College branch, but this collapse, and was transferred, more successfully, to Akaroa.
Since 1971, Maurice Askew's Film School (in the school of fine arts) has dominated the Society.