Screen Machine Needs Your Vote!

1 Jun 2010 in Audience Development Blog, General

The Screen machine mobile cinema is up for a National Lottery Award for 2010, but it needs your VOTE to make sure it wins! 

Screen Machine

Screen Machine

Screen Machine Mobile Cinema 

Category: Best Arts Project
Funding amount: £428,000
Location: Highlands, Islands and Argyll

“As a society, we are constantly being bombarded with new films,” says Graham Campbell, Manager of the Screen Machine Mobile Cinema. “If we don’t see them, we’re made to feel that we’re missing out on something.” The Screen Machine aims to change all that by making mainstream cinema accessible to rural communities across Scotland.  

An enormous articulated lorry, which expands into a fully functional 80-seater digital cinema, tours 23 remote Scottish locations, aiming to combat feelings of isolation and promote a sense of community spirit. The comfortable and spacious cinema offers an experience comparable with any modern cinema in terms of picture quality, sound and ambience. The Screen Machine selects areas that are isolated and are more than an hour away from a cinema, parks in an accessible local area, such as a car park or village square, and opens its doors.  

Lottery funding enabled the mobile cinema to be built, bringing the most up-to-date film releases to those who live in the remotest parts of the country.  

“Most of our audience are either children and families or older people,” says Graham.  “We offer films for everyone. Audiences see the latest movies, and it allows them to take part in a cultural and social activity that brings people together in a shared experience.”  

As well as helping the community and bringing local people together through a shared love of film, the Screen Machine can also help generate tourism in areas that are desperately in need of an economic boost. “Some of these towns and villages are extremely remote and people would not have any other way of seeing current films,” says Graham. “It allows families and individuals a chance to escape into another world for an hour or two and be moved by the magic of the movies.”  

Ian MacColl and Neil Macdonald are the drivers and operators of the mobile cinema and work separate two-week shifts. They also act as projectionist, front of house manager, ticket seller and cleaner, as well as maintaining the vehicle. They aren’t completely alone though – at every location, local people who are passionate about film join the team and work as ushers.