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July 29, 2009

Glenrothes set to ‘reel’ them in

50 years ago, the local picture house was one the main social hubs of the community. Over the years most local cinemas have been replaced with multi-screen leisure complexes and this has left some areas without any immediate access to the world of film.  One such town, Glenrothes, has been without a cinema for years and with no commercial developer showing interest, the community have decided to step in

Craig Smith

Plans to reintroduce a cinema to Glenrothes are set to take a step in the right direction in the coming weeks as volunteers meet to discuss the best way forward.

The new town has been without a proper picture house for many years now and none of the major cinema chains, including Odeon and Vue, have indicated a desire to set up in Glenrothes any time soon.

With Dunfermline home to an Odeon multiplex and plans afoot to create a cinema in Kirkcaldy, community activists in Glenrothes are now keen to see movie nights return to the town at weekends by putting the former cinema building in Church Street back to good use.

The current proposal is similar to the Leven Community Cinema project, which sees volunteers showing two different films on the last Saturday of every month at Carlow Hall in Durie Street.

The movies shown there are ones that have been in mainstream cinemas but are not yet available to buy on DVD, giving people the cinema-going experience at a fraction of the cost.

A meeting has now been set for 7pm on Wednesday, August 12, at the CISWO club in Glenrothes, with everybody interested invited to go along to find out more.

David Nelson, who is secretary of the CISWO in Glenrothes and a well-known community figure, is confident that a cinema will return to the town.

He said, “We’ve met with the owner of the old cinema and it is available—we’ve just got to put some sort of action plan together.

“Leven Community Cinema are going to come along and show us how it works and it’s just a matter of getting some people interested in coming out and helping to run it.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to show films at the weekends, on Friday and Saturday nights and maybe a Saturday matinee, and we could perhaps use the other cinema there and turn it into an internet cafe.

“A lot of young people are saying they are looking for something like this in Glenrothes.

“It’s too expensive to go along to Dunfermline but even if we started out at £2 or £3, as long as we cover our costs it should work.

“We’re not looking to make a profit and I think we can get it up and running with a bit of support.”

The plans have been publicly backed by Central Fife MSP Tricia Marwick, who believes the idea of a cinema has struck a chord with locals.

“Although we have had such a positive feedback, that’s not all we need,” she said.

“We need a cinema and that is on everyone’s wish list—we now need people to come forward and volunteer to help us make this work.

“It will rely on a committed group of community volunteers to run the project from week to week.

“At the public meeting we will be able to discuss our plans, give people the chance to find out a bit more about what it’s all about and see how many people are interested in getting involved with the running of the project.”