RFT – Reading’s Independent Cinema

An Important Message about the Future of RFT

Thank you all for your kind support of Reading Film Theatre over the years. We were sad to close our doors back in March 2020 and hope our customers managed to enjoy some of our online screenings over the Covid lockdowns. We were excited to re-open our doors in September and looked forward greatly to seeing you all and sharing some wonderful films together.

As you may have read in the press, audiences are beginning to return to cinemas, but they are not returning to pre-Covid levels. It was reported that while superhero and event films such as the recent James Bond film are back to about 75% of pre-pandemic levels, adult character-driven genres are still at only 30% of pre-Covid numbers. This can naturally be attributed to Covid-19 concerns. Older moviegoers especially are more likely to be cautious about the virus.

Sadly, these trends have been evident in RFT’s attendances since we re-opened in September.

We have also faced significant IT issues with our projection equipment as a consequence of being unable to carry out routine maintenance during lockdown. Dealing with this problem has resulted in major unbudgeted expense for RFT.

A combination of these factors has led RFT’s Directors to the conclusion that it is no longer possible for us to continue in our current form after the end of the autumn season. With great regret and sadness, the decision has been taken to bring to an end 50 years of ground-breaking independent and foreign language cinema at RFT. This step has not been taken lightly, but with the heaviest of hearts.

We would like to thank all our wonderful audiences, past and present, for being part of such an exciting journey across half a century of great nights at RFT.

We would urge you to come and enjoy our remaining films including the films re-scheduled after the projector issues in October: ANOTHER ROUND (30 November) and THE FATHER (7 December). In particular, we invite you to come and celebrate RFT's 50 years of independent cinema with our free showing of the film our members voted as the best film shown by RFT in its 50 year history: the classic Italian film CINEMA PARADISO on 2 December. Our final film will be Wes Anderson's THE FRENCH DISPATCH on 9 December.

Health & Safety Advice

In line with current recommendations from government and our hosts, the University of Reading, we are implementing measures for your safety and comfort. In particular:

  • All films will start at 8pm and with NO ADS so get there in good time.
  • There is plenty of parking and it is FREE!
  • We are now cashless so either order your tickets online at Ticketsource or bring a card and use our card readers (contactless or PIN). We also support payment using Apple Pay or Google Pay.
  • Please wear a mask while moving around but feel free to remove when you are seated.
  • We are limiting our audience to 104 maximum but with a capacity of over 400, the theatre has plenty of room to spread out.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available in the foyer.
  • Cushions will not be available but feel free to bring your own if you prefer.

In the meantime if you have any comments or suggestions about RFT we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us.