Community cinema project takes a massive leap forward

Brechin’s community cinema project took a massive leap forward last week, with screenings already planned for May this year.

The project, which has been called ‘Flicks in the City’, has been able to team up with FilmMobile Scotland.

FilmMobile Scotland is a rural Cinema and Digital Cinema installation and support company.

Talking about the partnership, Derek Harper explained: “FilmMobile Scotland have a system all set-up, all they need is a venue. So for the group it’s a case of securing a venue and developing a screening programme.

“We’re always told with local services you either use it or lose it, so the idea is to try and use the City Hall more, to give further reason to keep it.”

The aim is to have to screenings at the City Hall on a Sunday, one for children at 3 p.m. and another for a more grown-up audience at 6 p.m. The first screening is set to take place in the coming months.

To help ensure that the public will get to see what they want, the Flicks in the City group are going to put the choices up for public vote. Mark Arbuthnott said: “We will be provided with a choice of films for the first screening and we will share the choice with the public and let them vote for what they want to see.

“After screenings, there will be five trailers shown for the next screening and the audience can choose which they would like to see screened next.”

The group are still aiming to get their own cinema screening equipment. Mark explained: “The ongoing aim is to get our own equipment so we can build on the screenings. We’d be interested in doing midweek screenings for the elderly. There is no reason why this can’t be a viable project.”

Derek added: “A community cinema is affordable and there is funding out there to get equipment of our own to supplement the project.

“The key thing is that the people have to support it. We can’t shout from the from tops to have it, if there is no support. We need commitment to support this and other projects that will no doubt come as a result of the charrette.”

The project has also garnered support from local councillors, with Mairi Evans commenting: “I am 100 per cent behind it. I think it’s a fantastic project and it’s amazing to see how quickly it’s taken off, as well as the sheer number of people who support it and are actively keen to get involved and help make it happen.

“I’ll certainly be doing whatever I can to help and think it will be a huge success!”

For their part, FilmMobile Scotland, who have helped eight towns in Scotland set up permanent community cinemas, are delighted to be bringing cinema to Brechin.

Ian Brown explained: “We are very excited to come to Brechin. We’ve been operating for five years in towns around Scotland and it’s somewhere we’ve always wanted to work with the community on the ground to establish a cinema.

“On our drives to our venues in Aberdeenshire, there is just nothing between Dundee and Aberdeen and it’s a very underserved part of the country.

“One thing we like to help with is families who maybe don’t want to travel all that way to Dundee or Aberdeen, and also those people who just can’t travel so that they can still have access to films in then town at affordable prices.”