About Moviola

With around 50 of our own screens operating every month, and more than 200 Associates, Moviola is one of the largest rural film schemes in Europe. Our rural cinema service is made up of three elements:

  • A complete cinema service for village halls and other rural venues across Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and parts of Somerset and Devon. For more information click on Venues or any of the county buttons on the main menu.
  • A programming and film booking service for individual rural venues and touring schemes across the UK. For more information please visit our Associate Registration page.
  • Advice and guidance (consultancy) for anyone who wishes to establish their own rural cinema. Please contact us to find out more.

The Company and Charity share the same formal Objects: “promoting, maintaining, improving and advancing education within the community at large and particularly in the rural areas of the United Kingdom by the promotion and performance of cinematography and films of all genres and including the provision of consultancy services in the performance of film to other individuals and organisations in the United Kingdom”.

Moviola has been showing films in a rural setting since 2001. The first three years of our work might be regarded as a ‘pilot’ period with the organisation finally being incorporated as ‘Dorset Film Touring’ on 24 February 2004 with the Company Number 5053960. ‘Dorset Film Touring’ was registered as United Kingdom Charity 1107649 on 17 January 2005. In summer 2009, the Company and Charity officially adopted the name ‘Moviola’ in order to reflect the growth in the UK-wide work and reputation of the organisation.

Contact Us

13 + 9 =

Registered Office

Spring Cottage,
Queen Street,
Dorset DT9 6LL

Telephone:  01935 (00441935) 872607

Email: info@moviola.org

The Board

Philip Comer

Philip Comer


Philip lives in the village of Bicknoller in Somerset, on the edge of the Quantock Hills, and not far from Crowcombe where he is the organiser for Crowcombe Cinema, a Moviola Associate. In the 1980s he helped set up a risk management consultancy, working originally with energy companies but more recently in food safety and healthcare. He is semi-retired but still does some occasional assignments. Amongst other activities he is a volunteer Ranger with the Quantocks AONB service and is the vice-Chairman of Friends of Quantock, a local conservation charity that acts as the public watchdog of the Quantock Hills.

Roger Johnson

Roger Johnson

Trustee & Director

Roger carries out a lot of voluntary sector activity and runs the annual Sherborne International Film Festival. He was also instrumental in setting up the town’s first Literary Festival and is a Director of Artslink, a community arts organisation. Roger spent 10 years in the international travel and tourism industry, working as a Director for VisitBritain, before setting up his own consultancy Destination Experiences in 2007.
Dr Brian Clay

Dr Brian Clay

Trustee & Director

Brian has been involved with Moviola since its origins in Dorset Film Touring by way of his work as Regional Secretary of the South West Group of Cinema for All, previously known as-the British Federation of Film Societies, and as past Chair of Dorchester Film Society.  These days he lives in Bristol which allows him to liaise on Moviola’s behalf with the film exhibition network though Film Hub South West based in the city – as well as watching a lot of films at the Bristol Watershed.
Helen Owers

Helen Owers

Trustee & Director

Helen is the Parish Development Officer for Hythe & Dibden. One of her earliest projects was working in partnership with Moviola to set up the cinema in Hythe, which has been operating for 9 years now. In her free time she takes photographs of bands and writes concert and CD reviews for a number of music publications.
David Freemantle

David Freemantle

Trustee & Director

David lives in the village of Crowcombe. He has been instrumental with many others in building a large village hall, which has provided an ideal venue for films. As a Moviola Associate David organises the monthly films which regularly attract an audience of a hundred. Always concerned with the maintenance of community life in a village, David has, for many years, edited the village newsletter. and chairs the Events Committee for The Somerset Gardens Trust.
Dr Elaine Hendrickson

Dr Elaine Hendrickson

Trustee & Director

Elaine was born in the United States but came to London for postgraduate study. She stayed to finish her PhD and became a Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. Since her retirement she has been living in Beaminster, and is involved in community choirs, the annual Beaminster Festival and the very successful Beaminster Moviola.
Carol Dixon

Carol Dixon

Trustee & Director

Carol is a retired Teacher and Health Promotion Co-ordinator who played a major role in establishing the government’s Healthy Schools’ Scheme in Berkshire and Dorset. She has helped develop various community activities in Beaminster where she now lives, including a successful community choir and leading U3A and WI groups. She is a keen supporter and active team member of Beaminster Moviola.

The Staff

Toby Walkley

Toby Walkley

Programme Director

Toby looks after film programming, booking and licensing, chooses shorts and compiles your support disks, and is in overall charge of the Associates programme. Contact him for anything to do with film choices and bookings.  Get in touch with him if you would like to register as an Associate.
Christina Walkley

Christina Walkley

General Manager

Christina runs Head Office and administers the Moviola Partner programme. If you are a Moviola partner, contact her to book or change dates, if you have a query about your show, in fact for pretty much anything else except film choices. She is also responsible for posting out discs to Associates. If you are an Associate, contact her if you have a query about disc dispatch.
Tony Ewart

Tony Ewart

Finance Officer

Tony came to Moviola from the Chase Manhattan Bank and keeps the Company books in order.  He maintains the records of Box Office returns and calculates and issues the invoices, so it is to him that you should send your return. He also checks the bank account and records payments. In addition to this, Tony liaises with the external auditors and calculates and pays the VAT.
Vision & Aims
The Vision and Aims of Moviola Ltd realise and put into practice the formal Objects of the Charity & Company



To be an efficient, accountable, partnership-based, sustainable and best value organisation which provides opportunities for the enjoyment and appreciation of cinema for people living in rural areas of the United Kingdom, and in particular Dorset, Devon, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire, especially for those whose ability to access quality cinema is limited


This Vision will be achieved by: Providing a year round local film exhibition service through the Moviola scheme Devising and delivering special film events Providing a UK wide programming advice and film booking service for community groups Providing a consultancy service for those seeking to begin or enhance rural film exhibition Working in partnership with other film exhibitors and similar groups across the UK to develop a vibrant rural cinema service Creating & developing robust and effective management and operation Designing and maintaining a sustainable model of business operation

How We Work & What We Stand For
Moviola is one of the largest rural cinema operations in the United Kingdom.  We bring to the task well over ten years of experience, built up in the best way – by simply going out and doing it.  Mindful always that we have to cover our costs, that we are reliant (just like the commercial cinema) on a supply of popular films, and that we must give the public a service that delightsthem, we have been successful in establishing a business that continues to grow.

Moviola operates a unique Partnership model which shapes and influences our day to day operation.   In each of our (currently 80) rural communities we have a Partner Group which chooses films and dates, books and prepares the venue, organises local publicity and sells tickets.  The Partners also manage the show, which means they decide on the sort of show they want:  What time should it start?  Would they like a supporting programme?  How long should the interval be?   Meanwhile the central Moviola team books the films, maintains links with film distributors, provides marketing materials and tickets and, most importantly, all the equipment and the Presenter for the show.

Moviola has become an integral part of the life of each community it visits.   Whilst we have to work with a variety of halls of different sizes, ages and acoustics, we are always looking for ways to improve the service and we are more often complimented than criticised.   People see Moviola as good value and fun and they come back again and again.    The spread of the service has been ‘viral’ – by word of mouth from one village to the next.  We have never advertised our services and we do not go anywhere to which we have not been invited.

The exponential growth in Moviola since 2001 illustrates the success of the model.   In 2001-2 we put on 52 shows and had a total attendance of 2528.  Within 3 years both these numbers had more than quadrupled and by 2008-9 we had settled into our current figure of over 700 shows per year, and an average annual attendance of around 45,000.


This success is due to the hard work of Partners and core staff but is also down to the high standards of technical presentation and the showmanship we try to build in to every show.  We play appropriate music before the start of the show.  Most features are accompanied by a programme of short films and trailers to allow an interval where audience interaction (and also all-important refreshment sales) can take place.  The picture is big and clear and perfectly positioned on-screen.  The sound is as good as we can make it and not too loud.

We do not believe in equipping individual halls with kit which may languish most of the time unused and be out of date within a few years.  We are committed to the touring model and so our equipment is used intensively across a number of venues and regularly updated – most recently we have upgraded to BluRay high definition disks wherever possible.  We use the largest screen that will fit into the hall.  Our fully trained Presenters are not just expert projectionists,  they are also happy to introduce the film and are on hand for feedback from the audience, most particularly at the end of the show when they say goodnight to everyone.

Village halls and other venues vary in standards of comfort and cannot, of course, compete with the luxury of the newest multiplexes.  Where we score is on the quality of presentation and welcome, on the added value of the supporting programme, and on the reasonably priced and good quality refreshments with, in many venues, a licensed bar.   Customers can buy their tickets in advance and regard our ticket price as a bargain compared to having to make a long journey to a highly priced urban cinema.   The ‘green’ aspect of enjoying films locally is also not lost on our audiences, nor the fact that our customers are enthusiastic, attentive and appreciative – not for us films spoilt by mobile phones and noisy behaviour.

Moviola shows are a real community activity.   Although our main interest is in making films accessible for all ages in the countryside, we are also pleased by the contribution the scheme is making to rural regeneration: a monthly opportunity for the whole community to come together.  There is evidence of economic benefit beyond the hall, from the fact that the village pub is fuller on show nights right through to the increased throughput in Post Office and village shop by people coming in to buy tickets.  The cinema ‘spend’ stays in the village rather than leaching out to the big towns.  Most directly Partners retain 25% of ticket sales for their own community use – in the last financial year, Moviola returned nearly £47,000 to Partner communities.

Moviola aims for self-sufficiency and sustainability.  We agree a minimum ticket price with Partners (currently £5) and do not offer any concessions.  This is because money from ticket sales is our main source of income.  We are aware that public funding will be under severe pressure for many years to come and any trading model which is not reliant upon our own efforts is unlikely to succeed.  (See also the section on Funding).

We know that there are many people elsewhere in the UK who would like better access to cinema.   We have to restrict ourselves to running regular shows only in our five ‘home’ counties of Dorset, Devon, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.  But outside our area, we freely provide advice about setting up a cinema, searching for films and (when we can) pointing enquirers towards groups active in a particular area.   More directly we offer an ‘Associate’ scheme whereby individual halls or groups can share our programming expertise and book their films through us.

In summary: We love films.  We love showing them, we love creating the proper environment in which to appreciate them, and we love facilitating the shared audience experience.  Being able to walk to your nearby hall to enjoy a quality cinema experience is something we would like to see happen all over the UK countryside.

Equal Opportunities
  1. Moviola Ltd exists to provide a range of high quality cinema-related events for people living in rural parts of the UK, and especially Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire, with the aim of redressing the imbalance between town and countryside in arts availability and participation.
  1. Moviola Ltd has adopted an open and democratic management structure and has a policy of welcoming the active participation of people from all sectors of the community in its activities.
  1. In particular Moviola Ltd aims to ensure that all aspects of its activities, notably but not exclusively
  • Job recruitment
  • Volunteer recruitment and involvement
  • Programming policy
  • Publications and marketing

– will be delivered regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, disability, marital status and sexual orientation.

Patron Julian Fellowes

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