Film Society Close to Hersham, Esher Shepperton, Addlestone, West Byfleet & Woking

History of the Walton and Weybridge Film Society

During the winter of 1963/64 a group of local residents were stimulated into forming a film society in the area, as a result of a WEA course on “The Art of the Film”. There was a common interest in the cinema and also a wish to offer the people of Walton and Weybridge an opportunity to further their knowledge and enjoyment of films not readily available at that time outside the West End of London.

The British Film Institute was contacted, and its advice and film hire services utilised. The hall of St. Mary’s Church, Walton, was hired and the first experimental season of three films was shown in the Spring of 1964. In September of that year a full-length season was mounted, and a total of 70 members joined. From 1968/69 to 1992/93 meetings were held in the Lecture Hall of Weybridge Library, and membership numbers regularly exceeded 100.

From September 1993 we were able to secure the exclusive use of the then Screen Two, Walton-on-Thames, which offered higher standards of comfort, projection and sound equipment. Membership was capped at 155, and there was a waiting list.

With the upgrade to their seating in July 2012 the capacity was reduced by more than half, which made our continuation there uneconomic. We were quickly able to transfer the new season to the Performance Hall of Cleves School, Weybridge.

In the 2015/16 season, the society moved to the performance hall at the Hepworth Playhouse, Walton-on-Thames.

For the 2019/20 season, the society is fortunate to be screening the films at St. George’s College, Weybridge in their Amanda Smith Theatre.
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