‘So far, so good’ as Fort cinema on track for May 2020 opening

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Construction of a new cinema in Fort William remains on track for a May 2020 opening, according to the developer.

As the the foundations and retaining walls near completion, Highland Cinema owner Angus MacDonald is pleased with progress so far, particularly the work of builders 3b Construction, and is looking forward to opening next year.

The project will see a new two-studio cinema being built in Cameron Square in the centre of the town, which will include a café and restaurant area. Mr MacDonald hopes to offer a wide variety of films to the 20,000 locals and 440,000 annual visitors.

Project manager Mark Little with Angus MacDonald. Picture Iain Ferguson, alba.photos OLD-CINEMA-DEMOLITION-P1.jpg
Project manager Mark Little with Angus MacDonald during the demolition of the old DV8 building in February. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos

When asked if he was confident of hitting the May 2020 target, he told the Lochaber Times: ‘The answer is so far so good. It’s progressing well and its on schedule. The steel frame starts going up in August and then all of sudden it will look like a building.’

The new Highland Cinema logo.

During this next stage of construction, Mr MacDonald will be offering members of the public a chance to catch a glimpse of the development by opening up a viewing platform with a perspex window in Viewfield car park. This will allow people to view construction progress and ask questions about the cinema.

‘Before the cladding goes up we will get a look at it,’ he said. ‘We had 450 people turn up to the open days so I feel there’s quite a lot of interest.’

Fort William has been without a working cinema for 12 years, despite several attempts in the recent past to restore the facility in the town.

Skye-based architectural firm Dualchas Architects has designed the new cinema complex with a view to creating a ‘striking building’ which references traditional Highland architecture.

Designer Ewan Leckie, of My Creative, has also finalised the design for the Highland Cinema logo, which can be seen on the company’s Facebook page.