Before taking a look at the programme for the 1993 London Film Festival, let's take a look at the programme - as in, the printed booklet where they initially announced what films were going to be shown. In 1993, as in all the previous years I'd attended, it was a chunky A5 beast, an expanded version of the usual National Film Theatre monthly programme. This would be the last year it would appear in that format - between 1994 and 1996 they experimented with a clumsily oversized 12" square affair, before settling on the A4 magazine we still have to this day. 1993 was also the last year when a big name artist (in this case Eduardo Paolozzi) provided the programme cover image - subsequent years would be more geared towards anonymous-looking graphic design, which was a bit of a loss as far as I'm concerned.
Anyway, the main reason why I'm going on about the programme booklet is because my copy of the 1993 edition has a pull-out insert with all the pricing information. I must have lost the equivalent insert for 1992, otherwise I would have realised that was the year when the matinee voucher scheme was brought in for the first time. (The 1993 programme describes it as 'back by popular demand after last year's success'.) For those of you graphing the prices as they increase over the years: in 1993 you'd pay £5.95 for an NFT screening, £6.95 for one at the Odeon West End, £8.00 for the Opening and Closing Galas, and £40 for a set of ten matinee vouchers.
Nevertheless, even with that sort of deal, I still wasn't taking time off work to catch cheap matinees. It still surprises me just how restrained I was at these early Festivals - generally one film a weeknight, occasionally two, with a small splurge in the middle weekend. Here's what I remember about them.