Film fans’ joy as doors open on new Fort Wil­liam cin­ema

The Oban Times - - NEWS - ELLIE FORBES eforbes@oban­times.co.uk

PEO­PLE in Lochaber won’t have to travel fur­ther than Fort Wil­liam to see their favourite new films, as the town has a new cin­ema.

The Ne­vis Cen­tre will be show­ing films from the end of this month, with The Se­cret Life

of Pets and In­de­pen­dence Day 2 set to hit the big screen on July 23.

Ne­vis Cen­tre man­ager Kenny McLaughlin de­cided to set up the cin­ema af­ter a one- off trial show­ing of Frozen proved pop­u­lar.

Mr McLaughlin said: ‘Show­ing Frozen was a huge suc­cess.

‘The cen­tre was packed with kids dressed up in char­ac­ter and all singing along.’

Af­ter talk­ing to peo­ple at the Ne­vis Cen­tre, Mr McLaughlin be­gan to see the need for cin­ema in Fort Wil­liam. He said: ‘There was a feel­ing that a lot of kids were miss­ing out on that big cin­ema ex­pe­ri­ence that we all re­mem­ber as young­sters.

‘So in May this year we put on Zootropo­lis and The Jun­gle

Book, and both were very well re­ceived.’

The cen­tre’s big­gest prob­lem was get­ting films to screen be­fore they were shown on TV, but af­ter get­ting into talks with Fil­mo­bile, a com­pany which pro­vided in­de­pen­dent cin­e­mas with movies, the idea took off.

Mr McLaughlin said: ‘ We will be able to screen films roughly five weeks af­ter their re­lease date which is fan­tas­tic.’

The cen­tre will be show­ing films once a month with au­di­ence num­bers dic­tat­ing whether it shows two chil­dren’s mati­nees or one chil­dren’s mati­nee fol­lowed by an adult film in the evening.

Fil­mo­bile man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ian Brown told The Oban

Times: ‘The first screen­ing in Fort Wil­liam was a fan­tas­tic suc­cess. Fort Wil­liam needs more reg­u­lar ac­cess to newre­lease cin­ema.

‘ We are al­ready in dis­cus­sions to move the planned monthly screen­ings up to fort­nightly screen­ings if the com­mu­nity sup­port con­tin­ues at this level.’

With the clos­est cin­e­mas to Fort Wil­liam be­ing in Oban and In­ver­ness, the Ne­vis Cen­tre said it wanted to help fam­i­lies who couldn’t travel that far to reach a cin­ema.

Mr McLaughlin said: ‘ While there is the cin­ema in In­ver­ness, lots of par­ents don’t drive, so it’s not only the ex­pense but also the has­sle of spend­ing around an hour and a half on the bus on the way there and back again.

‘ We are putting to­gether a list of films that will be shown through­out the year so peo­ple will know in ad­vance if they can see a film at the Ne­vis Cen­tre, or whether they will need to make the jour­ney to In­ver­ness.’

Mr Brown com­mented: ‘There are many peo­ple who ei­ther can’t or don’t want to travel over an hour to the near­est cin­ema and this will bring back this much-needed cul­tural pro­vi­sion to Lochaber res­i­dents.

‘ I grew up in a ru­ral commu- nity but had a pas­sion for cin­ema from my very first mem­ory, but didn’t have easy ac­cess and it was al­ways a whole day out, not to men­tion the cost which comes with that.’

Leah Whyte, 35, from Caol, whose son is three, was de­lighted at the prospect of the cin­ema. She said: ‘I think it’s great for par­ents like me who have the op­por­tu­nity to do things with their kids dur­ing the day. It’s bril­liant for my lit­tle one’s age group as af­ter an hour and a half in the car to In­ver­ness, the last thing he wants to do is sit still in the cin­ema.’

Mum of two boys, three and four, Yas­min Yildiz said: ‘It’s a great idea. It would be good if there was an evening show as well so that the mums and dads who are work­ing dur­ing the day get the chance to take their chil­dren.’

Kirsty Kyle was also pleased say­ing: ‘I think it’s a great idea es­pe­cially for par­ents who don’t drive or have a few kids, as go­ing to In­ver­ness for cin­ema is ex­pen­sive to get to and to go in. I think any­thing that gets fam­i­lies to­gether is wel­come here.’

Mr McLaughlin added: ‘ We now have a Tango Ice Blast ma­chine, hot­dogs, pop­corn and ice- cream, so we are try­ing to make it as re­al­is­tic as we pos­si­bly can.’

The Lochaber com­mu­nity has taken to Face­book to show its sup­port for the cin­ema, with more than 70 com­ments on posts about up­com­ing films.

To buy tick­ets and for more film in­for­ma­tion call the Ne­vis Cen­tre.

Ne­vis Cen­tre staff with man­ager Kenny McLaughlin and posters of the films that will be shown at the end of this month.

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