New Cornerhouse quarterly guide

In July 2011, we’ll be launching a new quarterly guide, which will replace the current monthly version.

The guide will tell you what is coming up over the next three months. There will be sections for Art, Film, Books, Creative Industries, Food and Drink, including info on all exhibitions, film seasons and events, festivals and courses. We’ll also be providing info on some of the new film releases you can expect to see each month, and an ‘at a glance’ calendar for the quarter which will provide dates for all the exhibitions and events plus the release dates for films we definitely know we’ll be showing. All our regular screenings, such as Matinee Classics and one off special seasons and previews, will continue to have dates and times listed so you can plan your visit in advance.

Why are we changing the guide?

There are a few reasons for the change. Mainly, we hope that providing three months info in advance will be more useful for people who like to plan ahead.

Unfortunately though, another reason is that we just can’t afford to keep producing a monthly guide. Like many arts organisations, our budget has taken a real hit this year. The demise of the UK Film Council and of Vision +Media, two of our major film funders, plus a cut in funding from the Arts Council, means we’ve lost around £80,000 of revenue funding this year. We want to avoid increasing ticket prices, and we also want to continue to invest in our programme and provide the same number of films and events. This means we’ve got to cut costs. Moving to a quarterly guide is an important part of this- and it should save £18,000 – £20,000 a year. About 60% of our income already comes from sales and fundraising and we’ll be working hard to improve this as well.

Over the last couple of years we’ve also changed the way we book films. We introduced a more flexible programming model that means we’re not tied in with the distributors to running films for fixed periods. So if a film is really popular, we can hold it over and run it for longer. We can also take advantage of last minute opportunities to show films we hadn’t originally considered (for example, if word of mouth generates a real buzz about a film or a member of the cast or crew wanted to come and talk about it). We can also respond to audience recommendations and requests more easily. And, when we get it wrong (which we sometimes do!) we can drop a film if it just isn’t doing it for our audience. The programming model is working well and last year was one of our busiest ever for film attendances.

The programming model already influences the information we provide in our monthly guide, as we can’t list every single film we’re going to show in advance. This will be the same for the quarterly guide. For every quarter, there will be films we know we definitely want to show and are pretty sure you will want to watch. We plan to show these films ‘on date’, ie as soon as they are released, and commit to at least a week, sometimes longer if we are confident it will be popular (like the new Almodovar film coming out in Summer). If they are really popular, like Submarine was recently, we’ll extend the run. The quarterly guide will include the dates these films open, and they will be included in the ‘at a glance’ calendar. There will be second batch of films that we also want to show during the quarter, but not as soon as they are released nationally. These will be listed in the quarterly guide without dates. There will also be new programme additions that are booked later and won’t appear in the guide (these are usually films that UK distributors don’t add to their schedules until the last minute). Details and dates for the last two categories of film will be confirmed on our website, on the weekly film calendar and in our e-bulletins nearer the time.

Film distributors can change the date of new releases at short notice so occasionally printed screening dates for films will become inaccurate. Unfortunately this is out of our control.

As well as the quarterly guide, there are several other ways you can find out about events and film dates and times, including new additions to the film programme:

  • Film times will continue to be published on a weekly basis on Tuesdays at 14:00, listing all film dates and times for the week ahead. You can pick up a copy in the building, or download it from our website.
  • You can phone Box Office on 0161 200 1500 for film listings information.  If you call before 12:00, the recorded information line will list all the times for upcoming films. After 12:00 a member of Box Office staff will be available to answer your query.
  • You can sign up for our weekly e-bulletin that provides details of all the films, art and events coming up in the week ahead. If you’d like to sign up for the bulletin you can do this here.
  • There is now an improved search facility on the Cornerhouse website, so you can search for films, exhibitions or all activity by day, week or what’s coming soon.
  • Cornerhouse Members receive an email copy of the weekly calendar every Tuesday. Members also receive an email copy of the quarterly guide in advance and a monthly email about the programme and any priority booking offers.

If you currently receive a copy of the guide by post:

You will shortly receive a letter from us explaining the change.

If you would like further information, or have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Are you a Cornerhouse Member?

We’d like to involve our Members more actively in the future production and development of the quarterly guide. With this in mind, we’ll be recruiting a panel of 5-10 members to be part of a Members Editorial Panel. This will involve reviewing the advance copy for each guide, and giving us your feedback on the content, language and format to make sure that it’s clear and useful. We’d also like your feedback on the design of the guide, so we can improve it over time and make sure the format, look and feel work as well as possible (within budget restrictions, of course!).

From October 2011, we’d also like to include comments and short features from the Members Editorial Panel. Ideas so far include a regular slot on your recommendations for the quarter, and your reviews of favourite films, events and exhibitions. It would be great if members of the panel could take part in the Cornerhouse Podcast each quarter as well and record a short companion piece giving your recommendations.

Members of the panel will get together once a quarter at Cornerhouse to discuss the guide and we’d also use the opportunity to give you an early heads-up on our future programme plans and events. The meetings will be in the evening and will probably be for about an hour – tea and coffee included!

If you’d like to know more about the panel, would be interested in taking part or have any other ideas about how Cornerhouse Members could get involved, please email, or give us a call on 0161 228 7621.