Screen Machine has its most successful year in 20 year history

Scotland’s mobile cinema, Screen Machine, has had the most successful year in its 20 year history. In the year 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, the attendance figure reached 29,663, beating the previous best figure of 29,333, achieved in 2012/13 when Screen Machine received additional funding to help mark the 15th anniversary of the service. This represents an increase of 31% on the figure reached in 2017/18.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was the single best-attended film, with 3,644 attending one of 64 screenings. Nae Pasaran! - which tells the story of the East Kilbride Rolls Royce workers who defied the Chilean dictator, General Pinochet in the 1970s - was the best attended documentary, with an average audience size of 30. 56 different films were screened, increasing from 48 in 2017/18.

On average, each of the screenings were attended by 43 people - or 54% of total possible capacity. That’s their best figure since 2012/13, and compares with a UK average of 30 to 40%.*

Now in its 21st year, Screen Machine has enjoyed a year of expansion and diversification of its activities. It now visits 40+ rural and remote communities on a regular touring basis. In collaboration with Alzheimer Scotland, it has established Screen Memories Scotland which uses cinema to help people with Alzheimers and dementia. It has also introduced the Films We Love series, bringing world cinema and documentaries to audiences.

"Our aim is to bring more films to more people"

“Screen Machine has enjoyed another year of putting its one screen to best use by helping to bring together communities throughout the Highlands & Islands using the magic of cinema. Our aim is to bring more films to more people in more locations, and I’d like to thank all our customers for their support in helping us achieve that in the past year. ”

Robert Livingston, Director, Regional Screen Scotland

Jennifer Armitage, Screen Officer at Screen Scotland/Creative Scotland, said,

“Congratulations to all at Regional Screen Scotland on the Screen Machine’s best ever year. It’s fantastic to see how well the new programme has been received. After 21 years, the Screen Machine continues to provide a vital service to rural and remote communities, where aside from the Screen Machine there is little or no cinema provision.

"The team have worked tirelessly over the past two decades to increase access to cinema in Scotland, inspiring and enthralling generations of cinemagoers and the announcement of today’s figures are testament to both their dedication and the appetite for cinema across Scotland.”

*This is based on information supplied by the Independent Cinema Office which states: A single screen cinema of say, 250 seats which was exceptionally successful might achieve an occupancy rate of 30-40%.

Contact details

For more information on Regional Screen Scotland and Screen Machine, please contact:

Fiona Fowler, Marketing Officer

0131 550 3734

About Screen Machine

Screen Machine is an 80-seat, air conditioned mobile cinema which brings the latest films to remote and rural areas of Scotland. It is the only full-time, self-contained digital mobile cinema in the UK. Screen Machine tours 40+ communities in the North and West of Scotland and each tour lasts approximately 10 weeks. it is now in its 21st year of operation. Screen Machine is a Regular Funded Organisation of Creative Scotland, and receives funding and support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It receives financial support from Caledonian MacBrayne.