Benson Picture House
From an idea to a reality…
After opening its doors for the first time on the 19th July, with Deadpool 2 as the opening Film, the Benson Picture House has gone from strength to strength. Four months and 50 showings later the Cinema has seen over a thousand admissions, a huge achievement in such a short space of time.
The requirement for a station cinema facility has been highlighted by many over recent years, and following the most recent Community Needs Analysis, was pushed even further. It was at this point that the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund was called upon to provide financial support, and without whom this project would not have been possible.
Benson Picture House currently provides three showings per week, Tuesday evening/Thursday evening and Saturday morning with the primary focus of the Saturday showings for families and children. The films are provided between 5-8 weeks after public cinema release and always before they are available for download/streaming.
The genre of films varies, but there is always a new film every week.
To date our most popular films have been Incredibles 2, Jurassic World 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story. All of these showings are supported by a small group of Service Personnel who volunteer their spare time to provide this service to the RAF Benson Community.
The first aim of the Benson Picture House has been to provide something the Community wants, if we prove that it’s something that people are using then clearly the future remains bright. One of the main pieces of feedback received is to improve the seating in the Fray Conference Suite, and at the moment it is just that, a Conference Suite! The Committee aspires to fully convert the space into a cinema that during normal working hours can still be used as a conference facility. This would include new seating, a bigger screen and improved rear sound. As you can imagine this is no small feat and is something firmly on the radar for the Committee!
The Committee/Volunteer pool currently stands at 12 people, meaning that depending on availability each person will work 2 showings.
This does however restrict the ability to put on more showings and bespoke events. To remedy this the Committee is meeting in early December to ratify opening up positions to dependants who are looking to get involved with this fantastic project. In the meanwhile, Service Personnel who are looking to get involved in something different are encouraged to get in touch with Sgt Matthew Breese or Sgt Ceri Thomas on Ext 5242/FS Scott Jackson on Ext 7912.
Without the hard work of several individuals this would not have been possible, from Personnel Management Squadron pulling together information or C4i coming over to fix the sound. But most of all a huge thank you to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, their donation has got this project off the ground and has already provided a benefit to this Community. #teambenson