Cinema hopes box-office hit will boost repair funds

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Mamma Mia! – the block-buster movie is helping fund much-needed repairs for Oban’s Phoenix Cinema.

Romantic comedy Mamma Mia Here We Go Again!, the long-awaited sequel to the 2008 hit film starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth,  will be showing at the George Street cinema  for at least two weeks.

The first screening of the new film featuring Cher was on Friday July 27.

Over the weekend , cinema staff were running a complimentary drinks bar for the shows – in return for donations toward repairs for the building.

Raffle tickets are also on sale until August 10 with a chance to win a private screening of a film of your choice, a family ticket and a £10 cinema voucher.

The community-owned cinema is undergoing a major upgrade with new toilets, baby changing facilities, improved signs and new flooring.

Earlier this year, the cinema put out an appeal for volunteers to help give it a spruce up in time for the start of the tourist season.

An open day was also held when more details of future plans for the venue were  revealed.

Cinema duty manager Marco Pacitti said: ‘The new Mamma Mia film has been great for us because it has such big appeal, even to some who might not normally come to the cinema. We’ve been very busy.’

Last year the cinema invested £26,000 in its heating system, and this year the investment is planned to be in the region of £45,000.

Some of this money has been raised by the cinema, as well as seeking support from local charities, Social Investment Scotland and BID4Oban’s shop frontage scheme.

On Monday, priority work started to fix the ceiling in the small studio after some shows had to be cancelled.

Next on the refurbishment list will be the toilets, the outside of the building and a fresh lick of paint inside.

‘We’ve managed to secure some funding but we still need more. We’re thinking of setting up a crowdfunding link or something similar to help bring in some of the rest,’ added Mr Pacitti.