'Magical’ community cinemas get set to roll into action

A travelling yurt cinema group and mobile cinema equipment for 11 Hebridean islands are among the 24 projects from the Orkney Isles to Galashiels, to have received support from The National Lottery through Screen Scotland’s Cinema Equipment Fund towards the purchase of new equipment to host accessible community cinema across Scotland.

In line with the Scottish Government’s latest Covid-19 guidance, all 24 projects can now begin plans to get up and running and welcoming audiences, as soon as they’re able, from Wednesday 15 July.

East Lothian's Pix in the Stix community group are using new funds to secure the latest cinema equipment and expand their cinema programme for children, families and communities across the local area.

On receiving funding, the group said: “Pix in the Stix, our magical Community Cinema has always strived to be inclusive and innovative, often on a budget. This award will allow us to enhance our loyal audience’s experience of film, with new and upgraded equipment. We hope to entice newcomers, to experience the enjoyment and happiness our Community Cinema offers, showing a wide variety of films to both children, families and adults.

“We truly believe that Community Cinema is a great way to strengthen communities and build strong relationships as part of our ever-changing community. We are knocked out by this opportunity to be able to continue and pass on this love of Community Cinema.”

Screen Argyll can now invest in new mobile film screening equipment and kick start a full cinema programme across 11 Hebridean islands.

Screen Argyll’s Jen Skinner said: “We’re thrilled to receive this award. It will enable us to supply cinema kit to Barra, Vatersay and the Small Isles and support our work in developing film activity across Argyll and the Isles.”

East Dunbartonshire Council will launch the Spectrum Film Club, a monthly series of film screenings led by young film fans who share a diagnosis of an Autism spectrum condition and/or learning disability.

George Burt from East Dunbartonshire Council said: “A joint initiative of East Dunbartonshire's Health and Social Care and the East Dunbartonshire Leisure & Culture Trust, the Spectrum Film Club is creating opportunities for people with autism and other special needs to influence and take part in the cultural life of the local community.”

Mobile yurt cinema social enterprise, Cinemor77 are developing and expanding their inspiring and entertaining cinema screenings and events projects with communities, festivals and organisations across Scotland.

Neill Patton of Cinemor77 said: “We’re delighted to receive this funding for cinema equipment from Screen Scotland, as it will help us grow as an organisation and will make our work with communities across Scotland more sustainable. It will also enable us to work with many more groups and organisations to help them develop screenings, festivals and other events for their communities.”

West Side Cinema in Stromness, Orkney are upgrading their film projection and sound equipment to support a year-round programme of film screenings from around the world and popular themed events.

Mark Jenkins, Chair of West Side Cinema said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the award for new equipment, a big thank you to Screen Scotland. In particular, the upgrade to our sound system will mean dolby stereo sound for the first time in Stromness, which will result in a much better experience for our audience. We’re really looking forward to when we can reopen our doors, welcome our loyal audience back and continue the West Side journey.”

Screen Scotland’s Jennifer Armitage said: “This round of awards concludes the year-long programme of capital investment in cultural and community cinemas in Scotland. When we launched the Cinema Equipment Fund last year, we had no idea what 2020 was going to bring but investing in the resilience of Scotland’s film exhibition sector is more important than ever. When Scotland’s cinemas reopen, they will be able to offer high quality experiences, with varied programmes, and within local communities.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Cinema is a way of bringing people together, sharing our communities’ experience with others and increasing public understanding on a wide range of social issues and historical events.

“Now more than ever, it is important we support cultural organisations in communities across the country. This round of the Cinema Equipment Fund shows how we support and strengthen cinema throughout Scotland with new high-quality equipment.”

The total amount awarded through this round of the Cinema Equipment Fund is £491,285.

The exterior of Arbroath cinema - a cream building with red pillars and cinema posters. A large red sign reads 'Chlamers Venue

Arbroath Cinema, image courtesy of the venue.

Funded Projects



Awarded Amount

Local Authority

Aboyne Arts and Theatre Development Group

Aboyne Cinema Sound


Aberdeen City

Atlas Arts

Plural Futures Film Project




New Cinema Equipment


Edinburgh, City of


Cinemor77 Mobile Cinema Equipment


Glasgow City

Colintraive Village Hall

Kyles Screen, Community Cinema


Argyll & Bute

Cousland Village Hall Association

Replacement in-situ film screen



Dundee Contemporary Arts Ltd

Cinema 2 projector replacement


Dundee City

East Ayrshire Leisure Trust

Cumnock Town Hall Community Cinema


East Ayrshire

East Dunbartonshire Council

Spectrum Film Club


East Dunbartonshire

Eden Court

Projection Upgrade 2020



Forgandenny Village Hall

Community cinema – audio loop


Perth & Kinross

Glasgow Film

GFT Technical Replacement Project Phase 2


Glasgow City

New Picture House (St Andrews) Ltd

Projection Upgrade



North East Arts Touring

Mobile Screening Equipment



Oban Phoenix Cinema

Oban Phoenix Theatre (Untitled)


Argyll & Bute

Pavilion (Galashiels) Ltd

Audio Upgrade 2020


Scottish Borders

Pix in the Stix Community Cinema



East Lothian

Screen Argyll Limited

Screen Argyll Network Equipment


Argyll & Bute

Strathearn Artspace

Strathearn Arts New Cinema Equipment


Perth & Kinross

The Barn

Upgrading to DCI



The Iris Arts Ayr CIC

The Iris Mobile Cinema


South Ayrshire

Universal Hall

Dolby surround sound equipment



Universal Sounds (Arbroath) Limited

Equipment Upgrade – DCI Compliant Projector and Associated Sound Equipment



West Side Cinema

West Side Cinema Upgrade


Orkney Islands

Notes to editors

According to Scottish Government guidance, cinemas in Scotland will be able to reopen from Wednesday 15 July, however these are indicative dates with confirmation subject to relevant evidence reviews and phase criteria being met. Guidance is set out in the Route Map: https://www.gov.scot/news/further-route-map-detail-announced/

The UK Cinema Association has published guidance to support cinemas to reopen safely. This guidance can be found here: https://www.cinemauk.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/guidance-for-cinemas/

The National Lottery has raised more than £41 billion for more than 565,000 good causes across the UK since 1994. Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support people, projects and communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.

Media contact

Eilidh Walker, Media Relations and PR Officer- Screen

M: +44 7545 402 064


Header Image: Pavilion Cinema, Galashiels, courtesy of the venue.