Save money – start your own film club

Save money - start your own film club

On winter nights, spending money on babysitters and a night out seems less appealing. Cuddle up at home instead, with your mates’ DVD library at your leisure.


Although DVD rental and pay-per-view movie TV are great ways of catching up on films you haven’t seen at the cinema, the cost can still really mount up over a year. Yet we all have DVDs on our shelves that we bought or got as presents, we watched them once and now they’re piled up gathering dust.

From time to time we might lend out a DVD or two, but how much more exciting to set up a proper film club among your friends. No cost, a little bit of organising and very likely a year’s worth of great Saturday nights in.

This is a treat for parents, but of course you could try it with children’s movies too.


Top tips for setting up a film club

  • Sound out as many of your friends as possible to see if they are interested in joining. The more people, the wider choice of films you’ll all get.
  • If you have a friend who often forgets to give things back or who gets upset if they lend out things and don’t get them back within days, it might be worth thinking twice before inviting them – this kind of film club should be casual and fun, not a source of friction.
  • Suggest to everyone that they pick only those DVDs they really don’t feel emotionally attached to so that if one goes astray or gets damaged by someone else’s toddler, there aren’t going to be any tears.
  • Don’t be snobbish. You might like Meg Ryan chick flicks but if someone else only has Judy Garland or Pierce Brosnan movies to offer, don’t sweat it. Someone else in the group will always be interested in giving something different a go, especially as this is a club with no subscriptions fee.
  • In an ideal world you’d set up a list of all the DVDs that you can all access and update all the time. However, creating a shared place like this would involve your own little website and few of us have that kind of expertise! Instead, suggest that you all take in turns for four months at a time to be the person who keeps tabs on where the DVDs are.
  • Once a week (preferably on the same day so it becomes a habit) the Film Club Chair can send everyone an email of the movie list. Set a deadline for group members to reply with their requests for that week, say Wednesday. (Request clashes can easily be sorted by putting someone on the list for the movie the following week.)
  • Ones that aren’t being viewed should be kept at one home (whether this is the Chair’s or a designated ‘Librarian’ is up to you all). It’s handy if the place where the DVDs are kept is a home fairly central to everyone so that picking them up isn’t hard work.
  • Try not to over-complicate the system! On the list that gets sent round, put the person currently borrowing a film in brackets after the title. All requests should be emailed to the Chair who can then simply put you together with the person who currently has that film or with the library for the next borrower to arrange collection, and the list can be updated for the following week.
  • Try not to make it any more of a fussy system than that!
  • Lastly, enjoy. Within a few months you’ll all be able to get together and set up your own movie quiz nights as well!
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Tips for your Film Club

  • DVDs that are being watched should only be out of the ‘library’ with one borrower for a couple of weeks at a time to make sure they don’t just get lost in the everyday jumble of one home.
  • It’s important for you all to feel that this is a fun venture so set some ground rules about whether you want people to chip in £2 or so if they lose a DVD so that the club can save up for new movies; or if you want someone to replace the missing film. Older films come down in price really quickly so hopefully there won’t be any cause for serious argument whether you decide on a replace rule or not.

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