Upgrades to Oban Phoenix Cinema to be completed ‘before tourist season’ starts, says chairman

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Oban Phoenix Cinema hopes to finish phase one of its planned upgrades before the summer season starts.

New toilets, baby changing facilities, signs and flooring are included in the first phase of the work, which is due to go out to tender tomorrow (Friday).

Chairman Gary Brown said: ‘The support we have received from the public has been superb, but we also appreciate the building has not been looking at its best. We plan to improve things before the tourist season gets under way.’

The plans will be on display to the public on Thursday May 17 from 1pm until 8pm in the cinema.

Speaking about the first phase of work, Mr Brown, who retired from the police in August, said: ‘Over the next few weeks and months we will see the development of the cinema finally come to fruition.

‘Architects’ plans for our toilets have been drawn up and have been available to the public over the last few weeks. Such is the interest, 50 members of the public have viewed and commented on them.

‘The board has approved the plans as the first phase of a much wider development of the cinema over the next two years.

‘With an ever-increasing demand for the latest films, and following one of the busiest weekends in our history, with more than 500 people visiting the cinema, we are delighted we are finally at the point of appointing local contractors to carry out the work.

‘Last year we invested £26,000 in our heating system and this year our investment will be in the region of £45,000.

‘We have raised some of this money ourselves, as well as seeking support from local charities, Social Investment Scotland and BID4Oban’s shop front scheme.

‘Over the past seven years of trading, the cinema has developed a reputation throughout the UK as an example of a non-grant funded, socially owned cinema working on a commercial basis. It is one of very few venues in Europe that is self-funding.

‘I would encourage local contractors to get involved by registering with one@obanphoenix.com for further information.’

Discussing his new role as chairman, Mr Brown said: ‘I am enjoying the challenge of it and I’m quite excited about the way it’s going. I think it will be an exciting couple of years ahead for us.’

Oban Phoenix also intends to carry out a spring clean of the cinema in the last weekend in May and is on the hunt for volunteers to help.

Anyone interested in helping with the spruce up should email one@obanphoenix.com