Update on Highland Cinema construction

CINEMA VIEW 20/9/19 Angus MacDonald with guests at the viewing platform Picture Iain Ferguson, alba.photos

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An update on Fort William’s much-anticipated Highland Cinema has been released.

With the main steel structure now in place, owner Angus MacDonald was on site on Friday September 20 to update people on how the new cinema, which will create 15 full time and 10 seasonal jobs, will look.

In the middle of Fort William’s High Street, on Cameron Square, it is hoped the cinema will become a hub for the community with Mr MacDonald hoping to attract more than just movie-goers.

He said: ‘I hope it becomes a hub for the community. That is the purpose for it, to pull people together from Lochaber and provide an entertainment centre. It rains more than 200 days a year here, so it will be somewhere for people of all ages to go.’

The cinema incorporates a cafe bar in the front brick building, with two cinema screens behind it. Photograph: Highland Cinema, Facebook

With blockbuster films being shown on release day, Scottish classics and Harry Potter films on almost every day in the summer, there will be a lot for residents and visitors to experience.

The cinema will also be showing live broadcasts by the Royal Opera, the  National Theatre and international bands.

Mr MacDonald said: ‘We will have a temporary stage and sound system available for the bar area or one of the screens. When we have the Mountain Bike Festival in town, we can have film premieres with directors taking questions. We can also expect live music, dance and company meetings from groups like Liberty.

‘Only people going to see a film will be able to reserve tables in the cafe. We will have some sort of meal deal that combines tickets and food which will accommodate groups like birthday parties.’

The cafe bar will serve pizza from a wood burning Italian oven, salads, charcuterie and soups.

Rory Flynn, the architect who designed the cinema, was also at the presentation. He said he wanted to create a modern building that fits in with those around it.

‘It is really important to replace what was there before with something special. This is the site of the former town hall and church, so we have a responsibility to make a good building here.

‘I really love walking up and down the High Street but having a square is important. Having a building that addresses the importance of that square is essential.

‘We took inspiration from the Highland crofting house for the design of the front but scaled it up to public hall size. Angus always wanted the red roof that evokes the idea of a crofting house.’

The Highland Cinema is due to open on Saturday May 9 2020 and regular updates are posted on their Facebook page.

Angus MacDonald with guests at the viewing platform. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos

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