Montrose Playhouse Set to Open in Early OctoberNeil Hardie
Montrose Playhouse has set out a date to roll the red carpet for the opening of the town’s state-of-the-art £4 million community cinema.
Nine years on from the beginning of a dream to transform the Angus town’s old swimming pool, Friday October 8 will see the doors open to the public for the first time.
VIP red carpet night are to be held on the two nights leading up to the first public screenings as a “thank you” to backers of the ambitious community hub initiative.
The Playhouse Project got the keys to The Mall building in 2017 after buying it from Angus Council for £1 in pursuit of the screen dream.
Volunteers spent thousands of pounds tackling a DIY SOS-style-strip-out of the building.
Main contractor Bancon Construction moved onto the site in early 2020.
The Playhouse’s three screens have been created in what was once the main pool hall.
They will seat 110, 145 and 147 film fans.
A cafe bar and community spaces have also been built, with some original features from the building’s former role being retained.
The project received £2.2 million from the Scottish Government’s regeneration capital grant fund and around £100,000 from the Screen Scotland cinema equipment fund.
Project volunteers have raised more than £120,000 through initiatives such as crowdfunding and sponsorship.
It is hoped the new James Bond blockbuster, No Time To Die, will be the first screening at The Playhouse.
The project, led by Playhouse chairman David Paton, has also secured internationally renowned town film-maker Anthony Baxter as a patron.
Mr Baxter said he was honoured to take up the role. His work includes the award-winning You’ve Been Trumped documentary based on the former US president’s creation of a golf course on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, and its You’ve Been Trumped Too sequel.
Mr Baxter said: “I am full of admiration for what the team has achieved in making this project a reality.
“David’s vision and the extraordinary work of the volunteers and their dedication over all these years is truly inspiational.
“To transform Montrose’s old swimming pool into a state-of-the-art, three-screen cinema, with its beautiful cafe bar and other incredible facilities during this pandemic, is an astonishing achievement.
“I really look forward to helping in any way I can to make The Playhouse a success.”