Screen Machine service to resume on Monday 17 May 2021

Regional Screen Scotland - owner, operator and manager of the Screen Machine mobile cinema – has announced that following confirmation today from the Scottish Government that cinemas in Scotland can re-open on 17 May, it will be back on the road, touring and screening to customers from that date.

After a challenging 15 months, Screen Machine’s first visit will be to Fort Augustus on 17, 18 and 19 May. Thereafter, Screen Machine will tour to towns and villages in Scotland’s North West Highlands including Mallaig, the Isle of Raasay, Dornie, the Isle of Skye, Lochcarron and Gairloch. Further dates and locations will be added throughout the summer – updates can be seen on the website.

Screen Machine aims to bring a varied programme of films to each location. These will include:

Iorram (Boat Song) – this first cinema documentary made entirely in Scots Gaelic is a lyrical portrait of the fishing community, past and present. Funded by The National Lottery through Screen Scotland.

Nomadland – Frances McDormand stars as a van-dwelling nomad in America’s mid-west. Winner of four BAFTAs and three Academy Awards.

Screen Machine last toured between September and December 2020 when it visited 20 different locations before the latest lockdown began. Just as we did before Christmas, we will again make contact with primary schools in selected locations to offer day-time screenings of films that classes can watch together. The more relaxed rules around physical distancing for primary aged children make it possible for us to offer this popular service.

Due to physical distancing requirements, our total capacity for each screening will be only 20 people – 25% of our full capacity. But a more welcome change is that we have introduced a new ticket category – Welcome21 – which costs £5.50. Until the end of 2021, anyone who is a frontline worker, who is having difficulty making ends meet because of the pandemic, or is claiming benefits, can take advantage of this reduced price.

Robert Livingston, Director, Regional Screen Scotland, said:
“We’re well aware that many of our customers will have found their finances to be stretched since the first lock down began – perhaps because they have lost their job, been on furlough, or work in an industry such as tourism that has been adversely affected. If that’s you, then when you go to book your ticket on-line, please book a Welcome21 ticket. This will be charged at our concessionary price of £5.50 instead of our full price of £7.50. There’s no need to bring any proof of your circumstances along to the Screen Machine - there will be no questions asked! This ticket will be available to the end of 2021.”

Sambrooke Scott, Head of Audience Development at Screen Scotland, said:
“Screen Scotland is thankful we could support Regional Screen Scotland through the Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund and we wish them all the best as they resume the operation of the Screen Machine. The RSS team have worked exceptionally hard to welcome audiences back and to enjoy films in safety and comfort. Alongside the communities it serves, we look forward to its return.”

You can read the full details of our COVID changes on the website:


About Regional Screen Scotland

Regional Screen Scotland helps communities to share great screen experiences. We do this by: providing advice and information on setting up local screen facilities; operating the Screen Machine mobile cinema; managing devolved grant aid programmes; and advocating for the social and economic benefits of cinema for local communities.

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 22nd year of operation. Screen Machine is a Regular Funded client of Creative Scotland, and receives funding and support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It receives financial support from Caledonian MacBrayne.

About Screen Scotland

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. Sitting within Creative Scotland, it is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success. With funding from Scottish Government and The National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. 

Media Contact

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

Fiona Fowler, Marketing Officer
[email protected]
0131 550 3734
0773 003 4278