It’s show­time for brand new cin­ema on Ar­ran

‘This will be an ex­cel­lent ad­di­tion to the is­land, and we think the com­mu­nity ben­e­fits are end­less’

The Arran Banner - - Front Page - Hugh Boag ed­i­[email protected]­ran­ban­ner.co.uk

Ar­ran is to get a brand new com­mu­nity cin­ema on the site of the for­mer ferry ticket of­fice in Brod­ick in time for next Easter.

The an­nounce­ment means that Ar­ran au­di­ences will be able to see the lat­est block­buster films at the time of their re­lease on the big screen in two 55-seater cin­e­mas with the very lat­est laser dig­i­tal pro­jec­tors and Dolby sound sys­tems. The cin­ema com­plex will also screen cul­tural events live by satel­lite from arts or­gan­i­sa­tions around the world.

Cale­do­nian Mar­itime As­sets Lim­ited (CMAL), which owns the build­ing, has agreed terms with Ar­ran Pic­ture-House Ltd to con­vert the build­ing into a cin­ema which it says will ben­e­fit the whole com­mu­nity, with autism-friendly screen­ings twice a month, as well as de­men­tia-friendly screen­ings, per­for­mances for the el­derly com­mu­nity, schools, and par­ents and ba­bies. The pro­posal is for the cin­ema to be open seven days a week from noon to 9pm, and will bring four full-time, and eight part­time jobs to the is­land.

Con­vert

How­ever, the de­ci­sion puts an end to plans by Ar­ran De­vel­op­ment Trust which had se­cured £200,000 of fund­ing to con­vert the build­ing into a com­mu­nity hub, with of­fice space for ex­ist­ing and start-up busi­nesses, shower and toi­let fa­cil­i­ties and re­tail space for busi­nesses to show­case their prod­ucts.

The Trust says it is ‘dis­ap­pointed’. It was one of three for­mal of­fers CMAL re­ceived, which says it took the de­ci­sion af­ter a ten­der process which high­lighted the need for the space to have a ‘com­mu­nity’ ben­e­fit and de­cided on the cin­ema plan.

Karen Jamieson, build­ings and prop­erty man­ager at CMAL, said: ‘This will be an ex­cel­lent ad­di­tion to the is­land, and we think the com­mu­nity ben­e­fits are end­less.

‘We ad­ver­tised the avail­abil­ity of the build­ing on the open mar­ket via our let­ting agent, Gra­ham & Sib­bald, with par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on a sus­tain­able com­mu­nity, and the bid from the Ar­ran Pic­ture-House team was out­stand­ing.

‘Not only will the cin­ema bring jobs to the area, but it will also cater for a wide va­ri­ety of au­di­ences; from school chil­dren to the el­derly com­mu­nity and tourists.

‘We are look­ing for­ward to work get­ting un­der­way, and hope res­i­dents and vis­i­tors to Ar­ran are as en­thu­si­as­tic about the new ad­di­tion as we are.’

His­tor­i­cally Ar­ran has al­ways had film screen­ings of­ten in com­mu­nity halls and in re­cent years it has been well served by the trav­el­ling Screen Ma­chine which reg­u­larly vis­its the is­land.

How­ever, while it will next month bring big box of­fice hits to Brod­ick, like the Queen movie Bo­hemian Rhap­sody and the NASA moon mis­sion story First Man, these have al­ready been on gen­eral re­lease for more than a month. Brian Keat­ing of Ar­ran Pic­ture-House Ltd said: ‘A com­mu­nity cin­ema screen­ing new re­leases is a won­der­ful ad­di­tion to any com­mu­nity. For both vis­i­tors and res­i­dents, it can change and en­hance their ex­pe­ri­ence of the is­land. We are de­lighted CMAL has se­lected our project for the cen­tre.’

The Ar­ran Pic­ture-House team will now progress the rel­e­vant plan­ning pro­ce­dures in or­der to ob­tain the nec­es­sary con­sents, but it is hoped that the cin­ema will be open by Easter 2019.

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