Oban duo put cinema on the silver screen

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Oban-based filmmaking duo Andy Crabb and James Gray – operating under the banner of Anam Dàn films – were commissioned to follow the £3.5 million restoration of the Campbeltown Picture House over the past year and a half.

The result is a 30-minute lighthearted drama-documentary entitled The Wee Pictures to be premiered at the official opening of the cinema on Thursday April 19.

Magician, conjuror, engineer, vaudevillian showman and manager of cinemas was the larger than life character F Rendell Burnette (played to a tee by Oban actor Roddy MacEachen), and he is the narrator and guide through the helter-skelter 105-year history of Campbeltown Picture House.  Mr Burnette was the Wee Pictures’ original manager when it first opened its doors in 1913.

Weaving together fascinating footage from the restoration and interviews with key figures from the cinema’s past, archive materials and the redoubtable Mr Burnette, the film creates a  ‘charming, quirky and delightful’ portrait of this unique and historic cinema.

Andy and James said: ‘It’s been a privilege to explore the journey of the Wee Pictures and its place at the heart of the Campbeltown community,  and in our own way become a small part of its incredible story.

‘We are both really excited to have the film’s premiere at the cinema’s official opening.’