Emergency cash to secure independent cinemas amid pandemic

Glasgow Film Theatre, the Dominion in Edinburgh and the Belmont in Aberdeen among venues to receive lifeline.

Emergency cash to secure independent cinemas amid pandemic Screen Scotland
Cinema: The Belmont in Aberdeen is among the venues to receive funding.

A host of independent cinemas across Scotland have been given a share of a £3.5m emergency package to help them survive the pandemic.

Glasgow Film Theatre, the Dominion and Filmhouse in Edinburgh, and the Belmont in Aberdeen were amongst 30 venues to have the lifeline funding confirmed on Tuesday.

The cash boost comes from the Scottish Government’s Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund and the National Lottery, through Screen Scotland.

It is aimed at bridging the immediate financial gap faced by the cinemas because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “We understand the severe impact this pandemic has had on businesses across Scotland, including our independent cinemas which play such an important role in communities across the country.

“We have had to make some really difficult decisions recently that will impact on cinemas which have worked so hard to re-open safely, but we have to put health considerations above everything else and I hope this funding, along with the business support that will be available, will help independent cinemas cope with all the challenges they face.

“Culture is vitally important to all of our lives, and we are determined to do everything within our powers to see the sector through this crisis. This fund is part of the ongoing financial support the Scottish Government is making available to the sector.”

Cinemas are allowed to open in local authority areas in level two of the five-tier system, which came into effect on Monday. They remain closed in areas in level three and four.

Sambrooke Scott, head of audience development at Screen Scotland added: “Independent cinemas have always played a vital role in communities across Scotland, bringing people together to immerse themselves in great film experiences from filmmakers around the world, and around the corner.

“It’s been the most challenging of times for these hard-working venues but, with the help of this Scottish Government and National Lottery support, they will continue to open and operate safely as local restrictions allow.

“By putting stringent measures in place to protect staff and audiences alike they will open where able and bring the magic and escapism of cinema back, which is something we need now more than ever.”

Full list of fund recipients:

An Lanntair (Stornoway) – £44,200

Moray Playhouse (Elgin) – £149,583 

Campbeltown Picture House – £65,00

Filmhouse Edinburgh and Belmont Filmhouse (Aberdeen) – £627,849 

Robert Burns Centre (Dumfries) – £24,896 

Dundee Contemporary Arts – £143,588 

Eden Court (Inverness) – £158,814 

Bo’ness Hippodrome (Falkirk) – £51,552 

Perth Playhouse – £128,622 

Glasgow Film Theatre – £415,171 

Dominion Cinema (Edinburgh) – £224,846 

INDY Cinema Group (Various) – £216,035 

The Kino Leven, The Kino Glenrothes – £106,313

Annan Lonsdale Cinema – £43,842 

Macrobert (Stirling) – £111,244

Newton Stewart Cinema – £32,878

New Picture House (St Andrews) – £87,723 

Oban Phoenix Cinema – £61,818 

Pavilion (Galashiels) – £207,362 

Premier Leisure (Saltcoats) – £71,259 

Screen Machine (Various) – £24,521 

Mareel (Lerwick) – £40,860 

The Birks Cinema (Aberfeldy) – £68,500 

The Phoenix Cinema (Kirkwall) – £21,244 

The Tower Digital Arts Centre (Helensburgh) – £81,328 

Bathgate Cinema, Alloa Cinema and Arbroath Cinema – £96,875 

Studio Cinema (Dunoon), Waterfront Cinema (Greenock) – £244,441