Screen Machine has its most successful year in two decades

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Scotland’s mobile cinema, Screen Machine, has had the most successful year in its 20 year history.

In the year to March 31 this year the attendance figures were 29,663. It represents an increase of 31 per cent on the figure reached in 2017/18. That beats the previous best figure of 29,333 in 2012/13 when Creative Scotland gave additional funding to help mark the 15th anniversary of the service.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was the single best-attended film with 3,644 attending one of 64 screenings. Nae Pasaran!, which tells the story of the East Kilbride Rolls Royce workers who defied the Chilean dictator General Pinochet in the 1970s, was the Screen Machine’s best attended documentary, with an average audience of 30.

Fifty-six different films were screened – an increase from 48 in 2017/18. On average, each screening was attended by 43 people – or 54 per cent of total possible capacity.  This was the best figure since 2012/13 and compares with a UK average of 30 to 40 per cent.

Now in its 21st year, Screen Machine regularly visits more than 40 rural and remote communities. It has established Screen Memories Scotland, in collaboration with Alzheimer Scotland, using cinema to help people with alzheimers and dementia and their carers. It has also introduced the Films We Love series to bring world cinema and documentaries to audiences.

Robert Livingston, director of Regional Screen Scotland, said: ‘Screen Machine has enjoyed another year of putting its one screen to best use by helping to bring together communities throughout the Highlands and Islands using the magic of cinema. Our aim is to bring more films to more people in more locations.

‘Thanks go to all our customers for their support in helping us achieve that in the past year.’