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The Cinema Club
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Frequently Asked Questions

The Cinema Club is a nationwide organization where members get to attend sneak previews on select Sunday mornings of the best new American independent and foreign films of the season – before their local release – followed by engaging discussions with fellow film enthusiasts led by our esteemed moderators and guest speakers.

You may submit the contact form at the bottom of this webpage, email Susie at membership@thecinemaclub.com, leave a message on our membership line at (202) 679-FILM and we'll return your call, or you can send a postcard to:

The Cinema Club
P.O. Box 42126
Washington, DC 20015

We do not send confirmations of registration receipt. We do mail out the membership cards, which are members' means of gaining admission, in one batch just before the start of the series. In some cases, even if you registered months ago, you may not receive your membership card until just days before the first show of the series. In the unlikely event that you've registered, but do not receive your card in time for the first show, worry not! Our managers will have a master member list at the door. Simply provide your name with a photo ID, inform them of the problem, they'll admit you, and we'll resolve the issue before the second show.

Because the Club meets in 8 different cities we make check deposits in larger batches by city, which can delay their being deposited. Over the summer especially it may be several weeks if not more between when a check arrives and it is deposited. We are still a small organization and take the slow and steady approach to minimize mistakes and keep all chapters as organized as possible.

Yes, in most cities you can still join for a pro-rated amount after the first meeting (unless we're sold out). The website will reflect a pro-rated price for the remaining number of meetings and you can sign up online or at the door when we meet. If you join mid-series it is most likely that your membership cards can be picked up at the next meeting date from our local manager. For a schedule of dates, please refer to the specific city page for the chapter you have joined (click on the WHEN tab on the left).

First of all, thanks for introducing your friend to the Club! If space permits, single-show memberships will be available for purchase at the door from our manager on the day of the screening only for $20.00 per person. We only guarantee seating availability for cardholding members, so we advise single-show members to arrive early and be prepared to wait in line for all cardholding members to be admitted should our local managers deem that necessary.

Alternatively, cardholding members may use an unused, current-season, past date on his/her membership card to admit a friend at no extra charge – however, either way, we do ask members to please submit the contact form at the bottom of this page (with "Guest Request" as the Regarding option) in advance when planning to bring a friend. This action emails the request to both our central office and your local door manager and allows us to ensure seating availability for both paying members and single-show guests. We do NOT reply to each and every guest request confirming availability. We will ONLY reply if there is a problem with your request.

In most cases, yes, we would love to have you! If space permits, single-show memberships will be available for purchase at the door from our manager on the day of the screening only for $20.00 per person. We only guarantee seating availability for cardholding members, so we advise single-show members to arrive early and be prepared to wait in line for all cardholding members to be admitted should our local managers deem that necessary. If you enjoy the experience and decide to join, we'll deduct the $20.00 from the full membership fee.

After each show, if the program is not sold out, we will offer pro-rated memberships for all the remaining shows in that season. Pro-rated memberships will only be offered for all the remaining number of shows. Because we need to be able to guarantee seating availability for all cardholding members, we cannot allow picking and choosing of dates when purchasing a pro-rated membership.

That said, membership cards ARE transferable and we DO encourage members to lend their card to a friend to use in their absence should he/she not be able to attend a show.

Membership cards are intended for individual use only. Because we need to be able to guarantee seating availability for all cardholding members, we cannot allow the sharing of one membership card between multiple people on one show date. However, see the answer to "What do I need to do if I want to bring a friend?" above for your friend-bringing options.

In select cities only, we offer a discount for existing members who refer brand new members to join the club. The discount amount varies depending on your city, but is always only one discount per referred new member– not a discount for both renewing and referred members. This discount does not extend to all new members, only referred new members. The existing member must send us his/her renewal with the referred new membership– no exceptions. Because the spirit of this promotion is to introduce new people to the club, the new member must be brand new (i.e. if he/she is in our past member database, the promotion does not apply). This promotion is not available for purchase online.

You don't! A big part of our program is that members don't know what film they're seeing until they walk through the door for the screening. Most members love this surprise element. It allows for a fresh perspective– unaffected by reviews and marketing campaigns that so often accompany the release of movies. Additionally, most of our film distribution partners prefer we didn't publicize our titles in advance.

That said, we do understand that sometimes you just have to know… so we have a member-only feature where you can, if you choose to, log in on this website and click on the "Reveal Sunday's Film" link found in the navigation menu. That will lead you to another page that gives you one last chance to change your mind, right before spoiling the surprise forever. If you can't find the link, check back on the Friday immediately preceding that Sunday's show. (It will not be available at other times.)

If a show is cancelled due to weather, film print failure, or other uncontrollable circumstances, we'll be sure to post a prominent message on the website informing of the cancellation and we'll also email all enrolled members for whom we have email addresses (a great reason to provide us with your email address). The Cinema Club will reschedule the screening on a future Sunday morning that is mutually agreeable to the Club, the theater, theater employees, moderators, guests (if applicable) and our film distribution partners. Because of these numerous variables to consider, rescheduling options are likely to be limited. No refunds will be offered for postponed meetings. If you cannot attend the rescheduled date, you may request a guest pass allowing you to bring a friend to a future Club meeting.

Don't see your answer?

Try here: Or choose the club city nearest you: Still not finding the info you need? Submit the Contact Us form at the bottom of this page. (Hey- we may even post your question!)