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Kennet Valley Arts Trust (KVAT) was established as a charitable company in 1996, following extensive public demand for an arts facility in Marlborough to serve the Kennet Valley area.
KVAT has long pursued this ambitious objective to bring a stand-alone arts centre to Marlborough, and between 2003 and 2011 the project was developed and nearly brought to fruition – but planning and funding difficulties meant it had to be re-considered.
The Trustees recognised that the town was lacking even a ‘straightforward’ cinema, and their efforts could be focussed more effectively on the provision of film in alternative venues. This approach linked directly to local community priorities expressed in the Marlborough Community Area Plan, was endorsed in the 2010 "Dreams and Wishes" survey of local primary children, and has been supported by research amongst attendees of KVAT events and by feedback from the public.
The refurbishment of Marlborough Town Hall's Assembly Room presented an opportunity for KVAT to revive film shows in the centre of town. We were delighted to provide the new cinema projector there, which has been in regular use since the Autumn 2012 season, and have complemented that by funding blackout curtains, investing in the satellite receiver system, and making ongoing upgrades to the audio-visual equipment. KVAT’s contributions to making the Town Hall a popular, accessible venue for the arts are now approaching £30k.
The film nights directly met KVAT’s mission objectives and as a licenced exhibitor we liaised closely with film and live content distributors. From this our activities extended into the livescreen programme – bringing a cultural renaissance to the town and significantly promoting the Assembly Room as a central amenity for the local community.
Kennet Valley Arts Trust (KVAT) runs all activities of Marlborough Onscreen Events. We are a registered charity (No. 1055021), run by a board of Trustees and ably supported by a team of volunteers.
In May 2010 KVAT established Marlborough Downs Movies to screen regular films for young people and adults, using a number of local venues around Marlborough to serve the mainstream, youth and art-house audiences.
Starting as “the smallest cinema in Wiltshire” (a Fun-Day Film Tent in a teepee on Marlborough Common), we grew over 5 seasons to show over 100 titles, attracting 5000 attendees in total.
Film nights are usually Thursdays at the Town Hall, with doors opening 7pm for curtain-up at 7:30pm. Our current films are listed here. The scheduled programme can change, so check regularly, or join the mailing list.
Family films have been hosted at St John’s Theatre on the Hill on Fridays at 6:30pm, and will be confirmed as the season progresses.
Please note that we also support other charitable film events at the Town Hall.
From April 2013 KVAT ran Marlborough Downs Livescreen, presenting satellite broadcasts of live events and encore performances from major venues on the big screen at Marlborough Town Hall. The venture rapidly gained strong support – with 1 in 6 events hosting a capacity audience - and in July 2015 we welcomed our 5000th attendee.
Live screenings are now the major part of Marlborough Onscreen Events, and apart from our summer break, most weeks there’s a presentation at Marlborough Town Hall. Days and times vary, so check details here. New events can become available at short notice, and we always aim to publicise these as soon as we can.
Due to the live nature of the performances and the technicalities of broadcasting, our programme may be subject to change. Join our mailing list to keep up-to-date.
Please note that we also run heavily-subsidised invitation-only screenings of particular events for select schools’ audiences.
"Just to say a big thank you for all you do with putting on films and screenings in the Town Hall. I loved 'The Nutcracker' this evening."
"Thank you for all your hard work, Diana, and a Happy Christmas to you all too."
"Thank you Diana, and a very happy Christmas to you. Many thanks for all your hard work for our enjoyment."