Stylish ‘city centre’ cinema coming soon

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Like many major movies the project to restore Campbeltown Picture House is not on schedule and needs constant budget revisions.

On Monday the chairperson of Campbeltown Community Business Limited (CCB) Jane Mayo and project manager David Mayo gave Courier staff a behind-the-scenes tour.

Mr Mayo explained that giving a definitive opening date could leave people feeling ‘let down’, adding that the project is all about ‘doing the job right’, and that perfection in restoring the 1913 cinema takes time.

Mrs Mayo added: ‘Campbeltown is a long way from anywhere and deliveries do not always come on time or complete. Delays are in no-one’s interest and it is not like just doing up a [normal] building.’

Mrs Mayo said that delaying factors have included a three-month wrangle over the electricity connection, the late discovery of dry rot and inevitable weather problems.

These snags have not helped with budgeting and CCB accepts that figures constantly need revising.

Mrs Mayo said: ‘Additional costs have been incurred and additional funding has been awarded which partly covers these costs. However funding for the original budget still hasn’t been completed, hence the need to fundraise.

‘There is about £50,000 outstanding, but we are a charity and will always be able to accept further money. Local funding has brought in about £125,000 of the total.’

A crowdfunding page set up in May this year on Virgin moneygiving had a target of £20,000, but up September 1 had raised just three per cent of that total – £860 including gift aid.

Irish contractors Corramore do not have a completion certificate but unusually have let CCB in to start fitting out the interior, including the seats in both screens, some carpeting, the chandalier lighting and sound system, and the second projector is also in place.

A Parisian seating specialist, Quinette Gallay, has supplied all the seats. To date 180 are funded, with 65 still to be financed – at £250 each they offer people the chance to be listed for posterity on the donor’s board.

Mrs Mayo said: ‘The MS society has sponsored seats with a space beside for wheelchairs and we have installed the dual ‘love seats’ without a centre armrest.

‘Everything is top of the range and it is going to last for another 100 years.’

The Courier is under strict instructions not to publish photographs of the interior – the eventual unveiling will no doubt astound and delight people.