For immediate use: Thursday 31 August 2023

Screen Machine is turning 25 and needs your help

  • Regional Screen Scotland (RSS), operator of Screen Machine since 2008, is seeking support from the public in their efforts to raise Scottish Government funding for the commission of a new mobile cinema.
  • £1.4million is needed to build a new Screen Machine and ensure the continuation of the service to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Without a new cinema, the service will be wound down.

Screen Machine is Scotland’s mobile cinema and in September 2023, celebrates 25 years of the service, during which time it has travelled approximately 250,000 miles. It visits more than forty communities each year, from Arran to Orkney, where there is little or no other cultural provision. The service brings the latest cinema releases to local communities, offering blockbusters, independent and family films and ensuring it shows the best of Scottish cinema.

Our previous Screen Machine (SM2), now eighteen years old, suffered a series of faults and is no longer fit for purpose. Screen Scotland stepped in earlier this year with the funds to lease a Cinemobile from French company Toutenkamion so that RSS can provide the service in 2023-2024. The lease will end in April 2024, and without intervention, the Screen Machine service will be wound down. A new Screen Machine will cost approx £1.4m and need between one year and eighteen months to build. RSS needs the Scottish Government to provide 50% of the cost. That will enable them to pay a deposit and begin the build. They will then embark on a massive fundraising effort to bring in the balance.

Harriet Warman, Development Coordinator of Regional Screen Scotland, says:

“The impact of the pandemic means that Scottish Government funding has rightly prioritised emergency and recovery funding for cultural organisations like ours. This has however pushed back our capital fundraising plans due to a lack of statutory commitment of public funds, and put annual funding at a standstill, limiting our capacity to raise funds for a new machine. We now need the public’s help to write to the First Minister or their local MSP, asking for Scottish Government funding to commission a new, more sustainable, greener machine, so that we can continue to provide this important service.”

Regional Screen Scotland are asking the public to write to the First Minister and their local MSP to express their concern for the future of the Screen Machine and ask the Scottish Government to pay 50% of the cost of a new machine. The Screen Machine service already helps cut carbon emissions. But a new hydrogen battery-operated Screen Machine will do much more for the environment – it will be an exemplar of green energy, seeing the service fit for the future.

Media details

For more information please contact:

Fiona Fowler, Head of Operations and Communications, Regional Screen Scotland

(0131) 550 3734

Editors’ Notes

About Regional Screen Scotland

Regional Screen Scotland is a regularly funded client of Creative Scotland. It was set up in 2008 as an initiative of Scottish Screen, the predecessor to Creative Scotland. It helps communities to share great screen experiences by: operating the Screen Machine mobile cinema service (using Cinémobile and its predecessor SM2); providing advice and information on setting up local screen facilities; managing devolved grant aid programmes; advocating for the social and economic benefits of cinema for local communities. Find out more about us at and via Instagram @regional_screen_scotland

About the Screen Machine service

The Screen Machine service is provided through the use of two 80-seat state-of- the-art air-conditioned mobile cinemas which bring the latest films to remote and rural parts of Scotland. It is the only full-time self-contained digital mobile cinema provision service operating in the UK. Find out more about us at and via Twitter @screen_machine and Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Screen Machine is turning 25 and needs your help

  1. Please tell me how I can help. The Screen Machine is a much needed facility on the islands and remote communities and it would be a huge loss if the service is wound up

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