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Frequently Asked Questions

Q) How does the group work?

  • RSVP to the film you want to see
  • You buy your own tickets
  • There'll be details posted on the event page
  • Before the film, we'll meet at or near the cinema
  • See the film :-)
  • After the film, we'll go for a social drink
  • That's it!
Remember: People are responsible for buying their own tickets..

Q) What films does the group see?
Anything and everything. New Hollywood movie releases, smaller budget art-house, world cinema films and everything in between.

Q) How are films picked?
The organiser and assistant organisers pick the films. We do take suggestions when we're able*, and will try to schedule meets for all the most popular films, and some which are a little more unusual.

Remember organisers are just normal people like you (hopefully); like you they just want to meet up with people and see a film- we all have different tastes so obviously the film choices won't always please everyone.

*We're not always able! We receive dozens of suggestions every week, and we simply can't put that many films up... so apologies if your suggestion isn't picked- best to talk to us at a meet if you have a really strong suggestion!

Q)When do the meetups take place?
The majority of meetups will take place at weekends as this is when most organisers and members are available, but some organisers will put up week day meets; hopefully that means everyone will get a chance to come along sometimes!

Q) How much does it cost?
Nothing. Joining and attending is absolutely free, but of course you do have to buy a cinema ticket to see the film! As you'll probably know, cinemas in London are very seldom cheap, especially at the popular weekend evening slots- we wish it wasn't that way, but we have to balance having both affordable and attendable meets. Suggestions for cheaper central London cinemas are always appreciated!

Q) Surely Meetup makes money somehow?
Yes it does; the organisers pay an annual fee to run groups, and in some groups, they ask members to pay group membership or one-off fees, especially groups where the organisers have to pay for things like venue hire, speakers or booking fees. As people are already buying cinema tickets, we don't charge in this group, but if you want to buy the organiser a drink, they won't say no smile.

Q) How will I find the group?
The organiser will detail when and where the group is going to meet in the event description; this is the best place to get information about where to meet. Different organisers will have different ways of making sure people have a way of finding them; for example they may email everyone who has RSVPed the day before the event and leave their phone number. If so, please take this number; people often don't look like their photos so it isn't always gaurenteed you'll spot them at the venue, and vice versa!

Q) Will you look for me at the venue?
Not specifically! As per the above, people don't always look like their pictures, so this could be embaressing! So best bet is to go to the meeting spot and/or contact the organiser. But you'll probably spot the group, unless you're really early and people aren't there yet- people generally arrive gradually. Having said all that, organisers will generally keep an eye out for people who may be near the meetup spot looking lost; just don't depend on that!

Q) I'm new to the group; will I be the only one?
Probably not. As it's a relaxed group which goes to a range of different parts of London to see a range of film genres, each meet draws a different crowd. I'd say at most meets, around 50% of people are first timers, so you won't be alone.

Q) Who are the organisers?
The organiser is Gabriel who has been running the group since September 2006. The other organisers are a team of dedicated film fans who contribute their time and effort to organise screenings so people can come along, enjoy films and hopefully make friends. So different meets will have different organisers, who may run meets in slightly different ways, but who will all post details of where to meet etc on their event pages- please read through these directions when you RSVP for a meet to avoid getting lost etc.

Q) Do the organisers work for Meetup?
No; Meetup is a social network site based in the US, whose staff are responsible for running the site but not for the meets themselves. Organisers are end users and customers of Meetup; they're paying for access to use the system, and neither have access to change the system or are responsible for it. Meetup is essentially a social network site where people actually meet; it isn't a mailing list, database or public service.

Q) What about my privacy?
Like other social network sites, end users are in control of what personal details they enter and who can view them, and are responsible for the information they choose to input. If you have any issues with data protection or can't work out how to change your settings, go to Meetup's 'help' section at the foot of the page. As per the above, please do not ask organisers to do this for you; they do not have access to your data, and can't make changes to the setup of your account: but you do.

Q) Which cinemas do you meet at?
We often meet in central London cinemas, though North London venues are also popular with group members. We try to mix it up a bit and go to both arthouse and mainstream cinemas, but we generally pick the film first and see where it's on at an appropriate time rather than pick the venue first. We like to pick venues with sufficient meeting spaces, and which are easily accessible to group members coming from all over London. We know outer London is generally cheaper, but will tend to avoid that as the travel cost for most members would simply outweigh the saving.

Q) When will a location/time be announced?
It depends on the cinemas. Cinemas generally publish their full schedules on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so though some may have announced them beforehand, we won't know all the options until five days before the meet (if it's a Saturday meet). Please be patient with this; it's important we find meets which the majority of the group can make it to, and where we will all fit. Again, the choices will not please everyone, but we'll do our best.
Occasionally the organiser will know when and where a film is going to be shown in advance, and will publish that information as soon as they do.

Q) Can I suggest a location?
Yes; you can do it in the comments, but depending on how you word it, this may be confusing for group members, who may not know how the group works and assume your post represents the official location, leading to them missing the meetup. So we'd prefer that you message the organiser privately with suggestions, which we will consider. We'll be considering various factors when doing so, such as the number of likely attendees and meeting spaces.

Q) If I don't like the chosen location; can I arrange for people to see the film elsewhere?
Please don't, and especially please don't post alternative venues after the location has been set. Doing so really confuses members, who may not have noticed the event description has been edited, but have read your comment- this may well cause them to book at a cinema we aren't going to, or worse turn up there and find we aren't there- especially if they're new members who don't know how the group works.

Obviously people who already know each other are welcome to discuss meeting elsewhere offline, but please do not post that conversation in the comments, for the above reasons. Please do not be offended if the organiser deletes comments of this nature; we're sure you'll understand that comments which could lead to people missing out on the meet can't be left visible. If you don't like a venue chosen, please message the organiser privately about your concerns and why, and please offer workable alternatives we can consider next time.

Q) Why does the group go to Cineworld so often / not enough?
Both of these are FAQs! By and large, we probably go to Cineworlds around 50% of the time, independents around 30% of the time and other chains around 10%. We know a large number of group members are Cineworld card holders, who are unlikely to go to other cinemas, though this is not a Cineworld group, hence the split allows for both options.

Q) I RSVPed the day of the event so don't have the organiser's number- can they mail me it?
You can try mailing the organiser and (though bare in mind mails sent through the Meetup system sometimes, not always, are sent by a non-response bot) they may get a chance to mail you their number, but may well be on their way to the venue and/or don't have a signal etc, so this isn't be most reliable way to get their contact details. Also note that the Meetup system doesn't always send your email on straight away- there've been times when it doesn't send the email to the organiser until hours later!

Organisers probably won't post their number on the site or in the comments, as this makes it publicly viewable to potentially anyone on the internet. (We'd also recommend group members avoid doing this). If you've RSVPed after a number has been sent out, it's probably best to just get to the venue just after people have begun meeting and you'll probably see people greeting each other- that's probably the group!

Q) I didn't receive the mail from the organiser; why not?
Though it sounds obvious, the most common reason is that you haven't put yourself on the RSVP list; if not the organiser has no way to mail you, and organisers can't see the addresses mails have been sent to; it's driven by the Meetup system. The other reason may be that mails from Meetup are dropping into your junk folder, so check that. Or (even more obvious!) you've set your Meetup account to not receive emails.

You can change your email setting for the group here:
http://www.meetup.com/account/comm/moviemeetup/

Q) I went to the cinema but the film was sold out...
It's always best to book a ticket through the cinema online or by phone before you set off to a meetup. Members buy their own tickets, and if they haven't bought a ticket and it sells out, that's the chance you take by not booking online. If a film sells out, it may be that other members haven't booked either and you could organise between yourselves to see something else and meet the group later. As per the point above though, please do not post these alternatives in the comments; it will confuse people who do have tickets and see these comments when they're en route to the venue.

Q) Can we all sit together?
Possibly. This depends on the film, cinema etc. If the screening is allocated seating and everybody is buying their tickets well enough in advance, you could post your seat number in the event comments if you want others to buy seats close to yours; the organiser may also do this. If it's not numbered, we'll probably go in to get our seats 5 or 10 minutes before the start and may well end up sitting together. Either way, we'll meet both before and after the film.

Q) It's a week before the event and a venue hasn't been posted; why not?
As per a point above, cinema schedules are generally not all published until the Tuesday or Wednesday, for the coming weekend. Yes, some cinemas will post earlier, but organisers will often wait to find the best cinema for the group; it doesn't mean they've forgotten and need others to choose where to meet. This is actually the most frequently asked question we have, so it's listed twice!

Q) How come not everyone who RSVPed is there?
Well, it's their choice. Generally only around half of the people who RSVP actually attend (since Meetup removed the 'maybe' RSVP option, a lot of 'maybes' now say 'yes' but aren't sure). Then again, we've had quite a lot of meets with 50+ attendees, especially for big blockbuster films on opening weekend. We do prefer that people change their RSVP if they change their mind last minute, so we have a better idea of the actual number of people attending, but people may not get the chance.

Q) I went to the meet, saw the film but the group didn't wait for me before going to the pub; do they hate me?
Probably not. We tend to wait around 5-10 minutes before heading off to the pub, and if it isn't already listed, it's quite possible we won't know which pub until then, as the number of people who want to go for a drink greatly influences which pub we choose. If you've sat through 15 minutes of credits or spent 15 minutes in the bathroom after the film, it may well be that the group's moved on; you probably have the organiser's number so give them a call or text if you don't know which pub they've gone to.

Q) Do we get group discounts?
That'd be great, but it isn't generally the case. There have been cinemas which have offered us deals in the past, and we'll notify members in the event description of any such deals, but these deals tend to either apply to unpopular films or screen times or are difficult to manage without the organiser buying tickets for the whole group advance (which is never possible for obvious reasons). This is understandable (cinemas would hope to sell out most of the screening we go for at full price) but we're always open to offers!

Q) I've sent you an offer of a venue/discount/screening, but you've ignored it.
Sorry! It may sound unlikely, but we honestly get about five or six emails a week with offers of one off screening deals, festivals etc, and even free screenings. Though we have taken people up on these in the past, there are generally logistical reasons why we can't use these (including the organisers simply not having time to have read all these suggestions); it's not because it's a bad idea (probably). For example, we may already have a meet on that day, the venue may be too small or in an area where we know people won't attend, it may be likely to see out way before the meet, it may be too short notice or there may simply be no organisers available to run the meet. So please don't take it personally of we don't get back- best way is to discuss the idea/offer with us at a meet.

Q) Can you unsubscribe me from emails?
You can change your email setting for the group here:
http://www.meetup.com/account/comm/moviemeetup/
Meetup is a social network site, not a mailing list. As such, organisers do not have access to your email address (unless you email it to them!) and cannot remove individuals from a list. If you wish to unsubscribe, the best way is to log in and either change your settings to not receive email or leave the group. One other reason people can't be removed anyway is that the organiser you've mailed doesn't know who you are: for example if all they have to go on is that your name is Tom, who knows which Tom?

If you are unhappy that you have contacted an organiser about being removed and not had a response, it may well be that the organiser has received the mail but cannot mail you back (IE if it's come through a Meetup no-reply bot or you've subsequently set your account to not receive email).

If you're still not happy (and believe it or not, there are some people who still aren't at this stage!) you're welcome to contact Meetup, who will most likely not reply, or just reiterate what we've said above. Or who knows, they might remove you because they do own the site... but it'd have only taken a few moments to remove yourself: job done.

Q) Can I set up my own event?
Unfortunately no. Though lots of members have great ideas for meetups and many would make great organisers or event hosts, there are a number of other things to consider, such as the group's calendar becoming too packed for members to digest and the fact that the organisers won't know if you'd make a good host or not, especially if they've never met you. If you're a regular attendee and would like to host meets, please speak to Gabriel; it may or may not be possible, it really depends whether there are already too many organisers at that time etc.

Q) I keep mailing brilliant ideas but don't hear back
Sorry! It may be that the organiser you mailed does not have your email address so cannot respond (bots, no mailing lists etc). But it may simply be that the organiser hasn't had a chance to mail you back and the suggested meet is passed, or the email has been lost. It's probably best to suggest meets face to face at a meetup, as this will help the organiser know who you are and ensure they get back to you!

Q) I'm a film director/ event organiser / festival promoter etc, and I have a great new film I'd like your group to come to: how do I make that happen?
It's great to hear about your film/event/festival, and it may well be that group members would love to attend, but it may also be that no organisers can make the date, that the calender's already too full or that the film may be a bit too niche for this group. Your best bet is to mail the organisers (maybe try ones you've met before so you know it's active ones) and see if they're interested. Please don't be offended if they aren't, or even if they don't respond; it probably isn't because they think your film/event/festival is rubbish, it's probably just because though this is a movie group, the structure of how meets are schedules is described above, and this isn't it- basically we aren't a group which promotes new films etc, so we simply may or may not be interested, just like somebody reading about your film/event/festival in a magazine.

Q) I'm a researcher/analysist/marketeer/random scammer: how do I get you to respond to my request for X,Y,Z data
I'm not saying your approach isn't genuine, and who knows- it may be really relevant and interesting for the group. But then again it may just be a glorified ad or a scam, so the chances of organisers responding to mails like this are the lowest of all. Best to spesk to one of them at a meet. If you don't come to meets... it may be that your motivations for being in the group don't match the purpose of the group!

Q) I went to a meetup but didn't see the Meetup sign
What Meetup sign? We don't have a sign... unless the specific oraniser of that specific meet has decided the way they want people to find them is to print or handicraft some kind of sign... Honestly, I do see the point of them and I know some groups use them, but unless you can put it on a big flagpole in the venue, it isn't as reliable a way to find each other as you'd think (and very few cinemas have massive indoor flagpoles for public use). So... we probably won't have a sign; ways to find us and contact the organiser will be listed in the event description and email to the RSVP list if the event organiser has said they'd send one.

Q) Why don't you see films at the IMAX?
We do here and there, but the IMAX sells out well in advance; half the people coming to meets only decide a day or so beforehand- so choosing the IMAX would mean half the people who want to attend wouldn't be able to, so we'd want to avoid that situation as much as we can.

Q) What is this group 'really for?'
You'd be surprised that this question is asked; there must be some groups out there which are some kind of front for something else- who knows? Occasionally people think this is actually a dating group or something, though it's hard to know where they'd get that idea (though obviously if two single people happen to meet at the group and things develop from there, fair play to them). Just to be clear, this is a group where people meet to see movies.

Q) Something happened at a meetup which made me feel uncomfortable: what do I do?
We want this to be a relaxed and respectful group, but as it's a public, internet-based group where people often don't know each other, there is a slim possibility someone might come to the group who is not so respectful. If somebody does something that makes you feel uncomfortable, we would encourage you to contact the organiser/s, whether anonymously or not.

Any such information will be treated confidentially unless you ask us to take action which might prevent that, and we take any such feedback seriously, while wanting to hear both sides of the story- we can't act if a compaint is not provable or substantiated, though if the issue has affected one person, it's probably also affected others, so reporting it is important in helping us preventing it from happening again. Note there are both male and female organisers if you'd feel more comfortable reporting an issue to one rather than the other.

Having said all that, in the ten years or so the group has been running, it's been a very positive surprise (?) that there haven't been any worrying incidents, and the vast, vast majority of attendees are perfectly relaxed and friendly. We have had a couple of incidents of misunderstanding, but you'd probably expect a lot worse from random people on the internet, so it's good to know people aren't that scary!

I have some other query/complaint not listed above
Please email the organiser; if it's sensible, we'll try to reply whenever we can.

So there are quite a lot of FAQ's, but it's all really straightforward; all the info you'll need for the meet will be included in the event description and will be updated before the event itself if anything changes.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Frequently Asked Questions May 9, 2017 11:35 PM Gabriel
About The London Movie Meetup Group July 16, 2006 5:38 PM former member

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