The Big Screen Lights Up Again at Independent Cinemas Across Scotland

Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen

BELMONT Filmhouse Aberdeen, Eden Court in Inverness, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Perth Playhouse, The Birks Cinema Aberfeldy, Chalmers Filmhouse in Arbroath, The Kino cinemas in Leven and Glenrothes and Scotland’s local independent cinemas and operators all over the country are re-opening their doors and welcoming cinema goers from today, Monday 17 May 2021 and over the coming weeks and months. 

The re-opening is being supported with an additional £1.98million Scottish Government support for 29* independent cinemas and one touring operator through Screen Scotland’s Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund. Meanwhile, every precaution is being taken to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience including spaced seating, enhanced cleaning, fresh air ventilated screens, more opportunities to pre-book online, and distanced queuing and foyer spacing. 

There is a fantastic schedule of releases hitting the big screen over the coming weeks and months with audiences able to catch Oscar-Winning films The Sound of Metal and Nomadland in all their glory on the big screen when they are released today, Monday 17 May, the Black Widowblockbuster and BAFTA-nominated Limbo (from Scotland-based filmmakers Director Ben Sharrock and producer Irune Gurtubai) landing in July and Edinburgh will also be coming to the big screen when it plays a starring role in Fast and Furious 9, also due for release in the summer.

Eden Court2-2

Alison Logsdail from Eden Court said: “We will reopen Eden Court’s cinemas on Wednesday 26 May and cannot wait to welcome everybody back.  It has been an extraordinarily difficult year and the ongoing uncertainty and limits on capacity continue to make it very challenging. The support we have received from the Independent Cinema Resilience and Recovery Fund has been critical in helping to protect our cinemas for Highland audiences and in enabling us to restart screenings, with all the necessary safety measures in place.”

DCA exterior by Erika Stevenson

Beth Bate, Director at Dundee Contemporary Arts said: “We are so excited to be able to open our doors once again to our cinema audiences on Monday 17th May and are already delighted with ticket sales. We know audiences are so keen to come back to enjoy our safe spaces and our diverse programme. The Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund has been invaluable in helping DCA support our staff and ensure our ongoing sustainability, meaning we can reopen with confidence.”

The Birks Cinema 2-2

Sambrooke Scott, Head of Audience Development at Screen Scotland said: “The COVID crisis has presented independent cinemas with one of the toughest challenges ever faced. As restrictions ease and hope grows, Screen Scotland would like to pay particular tribute to the passionate, dedicated staff who are working hard to ensure the safe return of the big-screen experience.  

“Cinemas are magical, transportive places where we come together to experience stories that move us, thrill us and excite us.  Cinema goers are eager to enjoy the big screen and support in the recovery of the cinemas they love, and Screen Scotland will continue to work tirelessly to support cinemas return and further growth.” 

The latest survey results – commissioned by the Film Distributors Association – confirm that the UK public is more eager than ever to return to cinemas, with 59% citing the cinema as their most missed out-of-home entertainment activity, with 40% of audiences planning to return within the first few weeks after reopening and a further 36% within the first couple of months.  The research also confirmed that lockdown over the last year has reignited audiences’ passion for seeing films on the big screen, with those who have digitally rented or purchased films highlighted as the most likely to return to the cinema as soon as they reopen. The encouraging findings also confirm two thirds of respondents favouring the spectacular big screen experience, immersive sound, special effects, that only cinema can offer. 

With the wide-reaching safety measures in place to protect the health and safety of staff and audiences. 93% of cinemagoers who returned last year enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive experience, and 99% were satisfied with the health and safety measures at their local cinema. 

Following 12 months of lockdowns and restrictions, the survey further endorsed how well-loved cinemagoing is. Past research has consistently proved that cinemas provide vital support for the health and well-being of our communities. Getting out of the house and watching a film on the big screen allows us to escape and immerse ourselves in another world, if only for a few hours. 

Phil Clapp, Chief Executive at UK Cinema Association said: “We are delighted that cinemas in Scotland and across much of the UK will from today be once again able to welcome audiences back. At this time more than ever, we know how much local communities value their local cinemas. 

“Our own audience research, but also the many messages of support and encouragement received by our members, confirm that many people have missed the big screen more than anything during lockdown and every cinema venue in Scotland has been working hard in recent weeks to ensure that when allowed to re-open they will be able to offer the safest and most enjoyable experience possible.” 

Follow the campaign on social media via #BackToTheCinema or #LoveCinema and visit: 

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