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March 9, 2011

Community flicks

Despite the multi channelled TV offerings and more ways than ever to download films into the living room, our passion for the big screen is undiminished.  Oban’s only cinema closed last summer and now the community are mounting a buy-out. They need to raise a lot of money and have recruited some high profile names as patrons to help – most recently Dame Judy Dench.  But when it comes to learning how a community cinema should be run, it might be worth paying a visit to Blantyre

Community flicks

For a short video promotion highlighting the development of Blantyre Community Cinema click here

The story of Oban Phoenix Cinema

ACCLAIMED actress Dame Judi Dench is the latest star to join the fight to save Oban’s only cinema.

The film and theatre actress, perhaps best known for her role as M in the James Bond films, is a regular visitor to Oban and has agreed to become a patron of Oban Phoenix Cinema.

The cinema on George Street, formerly known as Highland Theatre, closed last summer after the company collapsed. The Oban Phoenix Cinema community group wants to buy the cinema from the bank Santander and run it as a community enterprise. The bank has agreed to sell the building, if the group can raise a £20,000 deposit.

The group has approached a number of famous people inviting them to became patrons. The most recent to pledge her support is Dame Judi, who wrote to the group saying she was sad the cinema had closed as she has been a regular visitor to Oban for many years and it would not be the same without the cinema. She said she would support the Oban Phoenix Cinema Association campaign to open it and wished them success.

Trainee solicitor Katharine McKerrell, a member of the Phoenix group, said: “I was delighted to receive such a personal letter from Dame Judi. The Oban Phoenix Cinema is thrilled to have the support of such a well respected actor and patron of the arts.”

It is hoped that the patrons of the cinema will support future fundraising events and attend its grand opening. So far Robbie Coltrane, Tilda Swinton, John Hannah, Dougray Scott, Rowan Atkinson, Bill Forsyth, Ed Crozier and the Duke of Argyll have also agreedto become patrons.