In response to the latest guidance from the Scottish Government, we have decided to immediately suspend screenings by the Screen Machine mobile cinema, until it is clear that it will be safe and appropriate to resume touring.

Everyone who has booked for screenings will receive a full refund in the next few days. We will monitor the national situation on a week by week basis, and will bring the Screen Machine back to our audiences as soon as we can.

We know how much the Screen Machine’s visits mean to the communities we serve, but we believe that we must react promptly to the guidance for two reasons.  First, our touring operation puts us in a unique situation compared with conventional cinemas, not least as it means we don’t have ready access to running water, for staff and audience members to wash their hands.  Second, while many cinemas are adopting a sensible policy of restricting audience numbers to reduce the risk of contact, our small auditorium, and especially the narrow entrance area, mean that this approach would be of little benefit.

We would like to reassure our audiences that this gap in touring poses no long term threat to the Screen Machine service. We are very fortunate to have Regular Funding from Creative Scotland, who have stated that: ‘all funding awards already committed will be honoured – regardless of whether the funded activity is cancelled, reduced or rescheduled’. Moreover, the loss of box office income will, to a large extent, be matched by savings from not being on the road and not paying film rental fees.

We’ll also take this time to carry out various regular maintenance and inspection tasks, that would normally take up touring time later in the year, so that we can offer as full and uninterrupted a service as possible once touring resumes. And when we do, we’ll be able to bring all the big films, such as the new James Bond, which the studios have announced are being postponed until the autumn.

Regional Screen Scotland are also taking other measures to cope with the impact of the virus, such as office staff working from home, and supporting the groups and organisations which we work with to enable them to delay or postpone their projects and activities.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@regionalscreenscotland.org .

Robert Livingston

CEO

Tuesday 17 March

Response to First Minister’s Statement

The Scottish Government announcement on March 16 about its roadmap out of lockdown proposed 17 May as the date when cinemas may be able to reopen, which coincides with when they should open in England. We’re therefore planning on the assumption that the Screen Machine will be able to resume touring in that week in May, and as soon as the Scottish Government confirms the date, we’ll be ready to advertise our first dates and locations.

Meanwhile, we hope you’ll enjoy Small Screen Machine, our new video on demand streaming service. Just follow the link at the top of the homepage.

The Screen Machine Team

COVID-19:

Read about the changes we've made to our service