Frequently Asked Questions

When you book online, you should receive a confirmation email that contains your booking reference number, which you can use to claim your tickets on the Screen Machine door.

If you didn’t receive your confirmation email, then we suggest you check your junk/spam folder, as they sometimes end up there.

If it’s not there, and the email never arrives, it’s possible you entered your email address incorrectly. You can email us, and we can confirm your booking as well as your reference number.

Your reference number will appear in the web browser after you make your booking, so we recommend you take a note of it then just in case the confirmation email doesn’t arrive.

Tickets cannot be exchanged nor money refunded except in the event of a cancellation of a performance or in other exceptional circumstances. Please check very carefully when purchasing your tickets that they are for the correct location on the correct date as mistakes cannot be rectified.

If you buy tickets and then fall ill, you will not be entitled to a refund. We recommend that you instead pass your tickets on to family or friends.

Please note that you book at your own risk as programmes are subject to change and cancellation, sometimes at very short notice. Due to the unique nature of the Screen Machine service, we may cancel more shows than a static cinema.

We only cancel or change a visit due to exceptional circumstances, such as road closure or cancellation/changes to ferry services. These can cause a visit to be shorter than planned or cancelled completely. If a visit is curtailed, we will still try to offer the planned programme, but it is possible we won’t be able show every film intended, which we understand can be disappointing.

If you have booked tickets for a cancelled screening, we will contact you via the email address provided and process a refund. We try to give as much notice as possible, and will also provide updates on social media and on our website. We may also call you with the phone number provided if we are forced to cancel a screening close to its start time.

Email or complete the form on our contact page. You can call us (0131 550 3734) but our office is intermittently occupied throughout the week. A switchboard service will take a message if no one is in, but we can’t guarantee we will respond to it promptly.

On weekends, we check emails intermittently and will only reply to urgent requests that cannot wait until Monday morning.

Full Price Adult: £9
Adult Plus £2 donation: £11
Adult Plus £1 donation: 10

15-and-under, 16-25 year old, Senior Citizen (60+), Student, Disabled, Claimant: £6.50

Concession plus £2 donation: £8.50
Concession plus £1 donation: £7.50

Tickets are available online and on the door.

We sell 70 tickets online up to 2.5 hours before a film’s scheduled start time, and each is subject to a 50p booking feel. We strongly recommend you book online as they guarantee you will get your tickets.

At least 8 tickets are available on the door, alongside any others that didn’t sell online. You can buy these when the doors open 30 minutes before the film starts.

Please note that 14-and-unders must be accompanied by a parent or 21+ guardian for all 8:00/8:30pm screenings.

Proof of age/status may be required when purchasing or collecting tickets.

The operator reserves the right of admission and will not admit latecomers.

All seats are unreserved. If you require seats together, please arrive in plenty of time.

We have a hydraulic lift for anyone who needs assistance accessing Screen Machine. We ask you contact us ahead of time so we can prepare it for use.

We also try to offer at least one captioned screening per visit, as well as options for customers who would benefit using headphones for hard of hearing or audio description.

You can read about all of these in greater detail on our Accessibility page here.

Yes, Screen Machine is a participating cinema in the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association national card scheme.

CEA Cards can be used by those of our customers who have a disability. It allows the cardholder to obtain one free ticket for the person who is accompanying them to the cinema, and who provides the assistance they require as a result of their disability, provided the cardholder purchase a ticket for the same performance of the same film in the same auditorium.

It costs £6 to apply for a CEA Card. You can visit for full details.

We will only use your mobile phone number if you have tickets for a screening that has been cancelled or changed within a few hours of its scheduled start time. We will also email you, but calling you could save you a trip if you are coming from further away.

It is your choice to give us your phone number. We will not share it with any third parties.

Screen Machine’s touring circuit comprises of 44 communities spread across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. When operating at full capacity, Screen Machine spends almost 50 weeks of year driving between these areas, averaging 3 to 4 visits per year for most of them. Some of our smaller communities may only receive 2 visits per year due to access, costs, or distance. An exception is our Orkney visit, which we try to do at least once per year and lasts about 3 weeks.

Generally, the biggest influence on the date of a community’s next visit is the date of its previous visit. 3 to 4 visits per year equates to a visit roughy every 3 or 4 months, and while we try to stick this when operating at full capacity, we take a fluid approach if needed. For example, if a community’s entire visit is cancelled, then we may try to return there sooner than if that visit went ahead as scheduled. But this isn’t always possible.

Film release dates don’t influence our schedule. We understand this means that not every film will screen everywhere, which is already tough to achieve due to the length of Screen Machine completing one circuit, but we feel it is more important that we visit each area regularly than trying to match a release with a certain location. We will, however, aim to bring the biggest films to every location.

As we’re currently operating at half-capacity, all of our locations are receiving fewer visits per year, but we’re still trying to visit most as regularly as we can. Once we return to full capacity then we will hopefully resume visiting most areas 3 to 4 times per year.

Since April 2023 we have been leasing the Cinemobile, which has a different design to Screen Machine 2. As a result, we’re currently unable to reach seven island locations: Cumbrae, Eigg, Gigha, Jura, Raasay, Rousay, and Shapinsay, as well as Bunessan on the Isle of Mull.

You can read this on its own page here.

Screen Machine’s touring circuit currently consists of 44 locations spread throughout the Highlands and Islands. Most of these receive 3 to 4 visits per year when we’re operating at full capacity, with us staying between 2 to 4 days depending on the size of the community.

We understand that there are many other communities across the Highlands and Islands that would like to receive regular Screen Machine visits, but at the moment we aren’t looking to add to our current circuit. Our locations are fairly well spread, and additional stops could result in us visiting our communities less often than now.

However, this isn’t set in stone. There are plenty of communities that, for one reason or another, used to receive Screen Machine visits, but now don’t. For example, we no longer visit Fort William following the opening of The Highland Cinema. Other reasons we may pull out of a location include loss of a suitable parking spot and/or access to toilets, or a dramatic increase in costs, such as accommodation or ferries, that would make the visit no longer financially viable, or us no longer being able to access the community.

If we are looking to add a new location to our circuit, we would only consider communities that met certain requirements:

  • There is a suitable parking site that’s easy for customers to find and has access to toilets. This is by far the most crucial factor.
  • It’s a fair distance from a static cinema, such as The Highland Cinema in Fort William, or The Merlin in Thurso.
  • It’s also not close to another Screen Machine community.
  • The size of the population merits at least a two-day stay with an average attendance to match that.

We also tend to prioritise island communities. Over half of our communities are on islands.

We are always happy to hear from communities that would like a Screen Machine visit, but we can’t guarantee that it will be added to our circuit should we look to make any changes.