Weekend only screening for Phoenix Cinema

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Oban Phoenix Cinema will only be screening at weekends as the community-owned venue does its best to keep up with covid-related changes – including a drop in audience numbers.

Bookings already made will be honoured says the cinema’s general manager Jennie Larney but the organisation needs to maximise the £61,818 it was recently awarded from Creative Scotland as part of its Covid-19 resilience package.

The emergency money will go towards running costs and avoiding staff redundancies in the coming months.

Live events streamed to the cinema are still doing well as are tickets for Harry Potter films but a lack of new movies are making programming and drawing in big audiences difficult.

‘It’s a financial decision. We are not closing the cinema but it’s up to the people of Oban to come and use it.

‘We understand that particularly older people are still frightened of the risk of getting covid until the vaccines are delivered but we are doing the best we can to make the cinema covid-proof. It’s not risk-free but it’s as safe as we can get it,’ said Jenny.

One new idea being looked at by the Phoenix Cinema is to run films for people to watch online and pay for the content.

Saved by a community buy-out, the two-screen cinema shut for a two years until 2012. When lockdown struck it was forced to shut again for five months before making another comeback.

Last year saw a record year for the cinema selling close to 39,000 tickets – around 30 per cent up – and the range of films on offer was among the most diverse it had shown.

Shows coming up include the new release of adventure action movie Wonder Woman 1984, before that a host of favourite festive films including Elf and It’s A Wonderful Life then on December 28 Giuseppi Verdi’s La Traviata live from a theatre stage in Barcelona.

To see more go to https://www.obanphoenix.com/


Caption: Oban’s Phoenix Cinema