All systems go for Ellon Cinema

Keith Hart with cinema volunteers, left to right, Dawn Baber, Hellen Smillie, Liz Hart, Claire Murphy.
Keith Hart with cinema volunteers, left to right, Dawn Baber, Hellen Smillie, Liz Hart, Claire Murphy.

Ellon Cinema has received a major boost by reaching its target to fund a new projector.

The news was announced at the latest monthly Cinema Day in the Victoria Hall on Sunday.

Buying their own projector has been a long-held aim of volunteers who were delighted that the £41,000 target has finally been reached.

Hall management committee secretary Keith Hart said: “Since the recent revival of cinema in the town, this has been the quest of the Cinema Club volunteers whose work and efforts over the past year or so have finally been rewarded.

“Volunteers can now look at enhancing the community cinema service for the town and surrounding areas.

“At present, the cinema is restricted to one showing per month which falls on a Sunday. This is dictated by the availability of Film Mobile Scotland who provide the equipment and technician for the day.

“Owning a dedicated projector/server system would free Ellon Cinema from these constraints and would hence provide a range of additional benefits.”

These would include being able to show films on chosen days, multi-screening for just one minimum fee, opening up access to live satellite relays such as live theatre, selected sports events and concerts, the ability to show classics as ‘specials’ for parties, community groups and club nights.

Mr Hart added: “Overall, it will provide better programming flexibility. For example, it will increase screening frequency in peak season and reduced frequency when it is quieter and to show as soon as possible after the first release date.”

Ellon Cinema volunteer Vicki Morgan said she was “absolutely delighted” with the news.

She told the Times: “Having its own, centrally-located, independent cinema will be a real boost for the town and will make going to the cinema so much more accessible for local people.

“None of this would have been possible had it not been for all the volunteers who are there every month to manage the Cinema Days and most of all, the dedication, hard-work and relentless grant applications of Keith Hart.

“This is the start of a new chapter for Victoria Hall and its cinema and I think it is very exciting.”

The £41,000 of funding is made up of Creative Scotland £21,500; Awards for All £10,000; cinema profits £5,000; donations £3,000; hall reserves £1,500.

Delivery, installation and commissioning of the new projector is scheduled for the second week in August, which will include training of cinema volunteers.

Acquiring the projector marks the completion of the second phase of Ellon Cinema’s development plan.

The first involved the installation of a cinema-quality surround sound system.

Planning is already under way on the third stage which will involve developing the balcony area by installing auditorium seating. Carpet flooring is pencilled in as a future project.