Thirty years after Quinn’s Picture House showed its last film, a group of East Perthshire mums are setting up a new community cinema in Rattray.
The new venture, Strathmore Screen, launches on Sunday, January 27, with a showing of Ken Loach’s Scottish comedy drama, The Angels’ Share at 7.30pm.
The brainchild of mum-of-two Lesley Crichton, the community cinema will be at Rattray Hall on the fourth Sunday of every month from now until the end of April.
Lesley, who lives in Rattray and is also a member of the Rattray Hall committee, initially had the idea for the cinema last summer.
She explained: “As a mother of small children, I know what a hassle it can be to get out and go to the cinema in Perth or Dundee – it is an hour-long round trip from Blairgowrie and even further from places such as Kirkmichael and the glens.
“We have a number of lovely halls in Blairgowrie and Rattray but they often seem to be under-used. It is nice to have community events and get people together and the idea of a community cinema came from that.”
Lesley spoke to some of her friends and local enterprise organisation Growbiz, which she says provided a great deal of advice, ideas and support, and set up a small committee.
One committee member, Claire Robb, has a background in the arts. She said: “Blairgowrie is a great town but there are lots of young families here and there needs to be more facilities for people with young children.
“We have set up a Facebook page and the feedback we have received has been very positive so far, which is great. We have also received a lot of support from local politicians and councillors.
“We met with Pete Marshall from the British Federation of Film Societies, which is an organisation that supports and develops the film society and community cinema movement, and that has been invaluable.
“He came and visited the hall and they are lending us the equipment that we will need for the first year – everything from the screen to the projector to the sound system.
“If we get a good response to the community cinema then we would look at fundraising to buy our own equipment.”
Lesley continued: “By showing these films we are giving people the opportunity to get out of their house and meet new people or catch up with friends.
“We also hope to encourage people who may not have had the chance to go to the cinema in Perth or Dundee to see a film that they may have missed, and are looking at possibly holding kids’ showings.
“There will be a real ‘living room atmosphere’ to the showing with comfy chairs and sofas – you can even bring your own bean bag if you would like!”
Local acting hero Andy Clark will be introducing the first-ever Strathmore Screen showing.
Tickets for The Angels’ Share are available now from Blairgowrie Cookshop. Numbers are limited to 100.