Screen Machine needs your support more than ever

Customers in Tiree before a screening in 2017.

In September 2023, the Screen Machine service marked its 25th anniversary. Whilst this is a cause for celebration, there is reason for concern.

After 17 years of near continual service, we retired the cinema that many of you will know and love as it is no longer fit to manage a full tour. Its unreliability led to a sharp increase of cancelled screenings and poor service to many of our communities. At short notice, Screen Scotland stepped in with the funds to allow us to lease the cinema we are currently using: Cinemobile. But this lease lasts only until April 2024. Beyond that, without intervention, the Screen Machine service will be wound down.

We urgently require significant investment to enable us to commission the construction of a brand new greener Screen Machine.

A new Screen Machine will cost approx £1.4 million and need between one year and eighteen months to build. We need the Scottish Government to provide 50% of the cost. That will enable us to pay a deposit and begin the construction process. We will then embark on a massive fundraising effort to bring in the balance.

Please help us to ensure we can continue to bring your cinema to your community for many more years.

Ways to help:

  1. Write to your MSP, MP, or councillor, and to the First Minister, Cabinet Secretaries and Council Leader. For guidance on how to do this, click here.
  2. Come along – buy a ticket, bring a friend, try more than one film. Whilst we sometimes sell out, there is usually spare capacity. At £7.50 adult/£5.50 concessions, we believe we give very good value for money, and we’ll always be very happy to see you.
  3. Add a donation to your ticket price – when you buy an Adult or a 60 and Over ticket, there is now the option to add an additional £1 donation. We will use this extra income solely to keep the Screen Machine service on the road and to plan for the future.

At the moment, our primary objective is securing 50% of the cost from the Scottish Government, so the best thing you can do is contact your MSP or councillor. Donations will be better served once this is in place and we have started our fundraising campaign.