Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil has written to First Minister, Humza Yousaf, urging support for the Screen Machine to maintain the mobile cinema service to island communities.
Screen Machine is Scotland’s mobile cinema, and this month celebrates 25 years of the service.
The service brings the latest cinema releases to local communities across the Western Isles who do not have access to a permanent cinema.
The previous machine has suffered a series of faults and is no longer fit for purpose.
With funding from Screen Scotland, they have been able to lease a Cinemobile from French company Toutenkamion so that Regional Screen Scotland (RSS) can provide the service in 2023-2024.
The lease will end in April 2024, and without intervention, the Screen Machine service will be wound down.
A new Screen Machine will cost £1.4m and will need between one year and eighteen months to build.
Angus MacNeil MP said:
“The Screen Machine is a much-loved visitor to our island communities and this week I have written to First Minister, Humza Yousaf, pressing for a solution to be found to ensure that communities have continued access to this valuable service.
“The arrival of the Screen Machine in rural communities in the late 90s was a huge step forward for our communities to access blockbusters films and independent and family films.
“A great experience for young and old alike.
“As a user of the Screen Machine when it visits Barra, I know the value of this service to rural communities who do not have access to permanent cinemas.”