Frequently asked questions



What if I’m not sure if I want to commit to a whole year, or cannot pay the full amount in one go on night one?

The Flexi Pass option provides a ‘try-before-you-buy’ option – three films of choice for $30 – and we encourage new members to purchase this if they’re unsure. If they love it (highly likely) they may upgrade to a full year and only pay the difference. (Please note:  the start of your full membership will be dated from the date you first buy bought your Flexi Pass).


If I change my mind, can I get a refund?

The Film Society membership is like any other club or organisation membership and cannot be transferred or refunded. Under exceptional circumstances, the Committee reserves the right to make an exception and this must be applied for in writing/by email to the Committee at  


Can I share my full membership with another if I’m absent or don’t wish to come any longer?

The short answer is ‘no’ – they’re not transferable but again, if there are exceptional circumstances, send these to the Committee via email for consideration.


Can I share my Flexi Pass membership?

Certainly. They’re designed to be ‘flexible’ for this very purpose. Just tell the person at the theatre door that you and your friend want to use the same card and they’ll ‘click’ two holes. Alternatively, you might only want to attend for three films a year, for example, three French films, so buying a Flexi Pass for this purpose is ideal. Plus they have no expiry date!


I’m a full member. Can I also buy a Flexi Pass?

Yes, this is a good idea if you wish to bring friends/family more than once a year (using the ‘bring-a-buddy’ click on the back of your membership card). You can buy it under your name and get it ‘clicked’ at the door – either shouting your friend a night out or asking them for $10 to cover costs. Still beats paying $13-17 at a commercial cinema!


Does my full membership entitle me to come to all the films?

Yes, it does. At open events, which are free to the public, it will be first-come-first-served, so on these evenings you may need to come a little early. Please note, we occasionally screen R16 and R18 films and the film censorship rating still applies - our youngest members will need to present ID to confirm their age is appropriate for these screenings.


What does a ‘rolling’ membership mean?

'Rolling' is our way of allowing people to join as a full member at any time in the year, rather than having the membership cover only the exact annual eight-month film season from February to October.  Our more flexible membership means your membership starts on the day you buy it and rolls over for 12 months. So you could join on the 10 May 2021 and your membership will be valid through to the end May 2022 (we like to err on the generous side).  

What if I just want to attend a single film, can I just pay for this?

Due to the way we secure permission to screen the films they are members only unless they're explicitly stated as being open to the public. The shortest membership that we offer is a Flexi Pass ($30) which provides admission to three films of your choice.


Screenings | Food & Drink


Why can’t I bring in my own food and drink?

All commercial cinemas (yes, even Hoyts) have policies that prevent this, in part to encourage people to buy from the venue (which in the case of our non-profit organisation, provides some income), but also to monitor the kind of food and drink brought in. Hot, smelly food or snacks in noisy wrappers spoil the enjoyment for other members. Plus our drinks and home-baked goods are sold for prices that are hard to beat! (Cash Only)


I hate the noise of commercial cinemas and the fact that people talk and use their cell phones. What does CFS do to reduce this problem?

Fortunately, it's rarely an issue. The kind of people who join our Society are great lovers of film, and they like the inclusive, respectful culture that we’ve carefully cultivated. It’s also clearly stated on our pre-film screen display that texting and talking throughout the film are not permitted, and we remind people of this regularly.   


I wish the programme was longer - does it have to end in October?

The Film Society is entirely run by volunteers who love film and need a break, plus we use this down-time to plan our next year's programme.  Also, the warm weather means outdoor things are calling, the kids are finishing school and Christmas is looming. 

How are the films chosen?

Most of our films come from a long list of available films which the New Zealand Federation of Film Societies programmer has selected for the year and has acquired screening rights.  This selection is made after suggestions from the NZFFS committee meeting (where all the different regional film societies have an input). The Canterbury Film Society also buys in additional select films we feel will give the programme a better balance for our members. 


How do I make a suggestion for a film I'd like to see screened?

We love getting suggestions and input from our members but distribution rights may be difficult to find or cost more than we can afford. However, we keep a record of film suggestions which we forward to the New Zealand Federation of Film Societies, and members also get their chance to give input to our film selection at the end of each season.




I have some old film equipment/reel films to sell. Can I do this at the CFS?

We have not used reel film for some years and no commercial cinemas in this city cater for it any more. We cannot buy any reel film or equipment but we’re happy to note in our weekly email that you have something to sell, or point you to a local Film Buff group.

Still have Questions?