Cinema in Montrose is one step closer

Montrose Playhouse Project mural on the front of the former swimming pool on The Mall, which was designed by art students at Dundee & Angus College.
Montrose Playhouse Project mural on the front of the former swimming pool on The Mall, which was designed by art students at Dundee & Angus College.

A local group hoping to bring a cinema back to Montrose has secured ownership of the former swimming pool in the town from Angus Council.

The communities committee of the local authority approved the sale of the old swimming pool, on The Mall, to the Montrose Playhouse Project committee yesterday.

The group wants to turn the old pool building into a cinema and cultural arts centre.

David Paton, chairman of Montrose Playhouse Project, said: “This is a massive step forward for us in all respects.

“Having ownership of the building and land hopefully gives us more appeal when applying to funders as we have an actual asset in ownership rather than a lease.

“We are also planning now to revert to our original plan of the conversion of the old pool building rather than a new build.

“We feel it is the most achievable plan in the current financial climate and as such have simplified the floor plans to suit, but it will still give us the same accommodation as before, bringing the town a superb modern facility for all to enjoy.”

On Sunday, the group joined forces with FilmMobile Scotland to hold its first month movie screening event at Montrose Academy’s Assembly Hall, showing Disney’s Moana, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The event followed on from the project’s hugely successful outdoor Christmas cinema event, Movies on the Mall, where around 400 people braved the cold weather at the beginning of December to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol and Elf, which were projected on to the back of the former swimming pool by FilmMobile.

David added: “The turn out at our first film day at Montrose Academy was beyond our expectations of attendance with toddlers to pensioners attending, which shows the demand for the facility and the need that people want to see these types of new films.

“Once the facility opens of course we will be able to offer a more varied array of brand new films as they come out, along with 3D, live and outdoor events.

“Our aims this year will be to focus a small sub committee group on funding/investment, specifically to move the project forward as best as we can.

“The other half of the team will focus on events, such as our new monthly film screenings at Montrose Academy in association with FilmMobile Scotland.

“Next month we are bringing the hotly anticipated Trainspotting 2, Ballerina and Monster Trucks and then in March will be Sing, La La Land and Fifty Shades Darker.

“It’s all very exciting and we hope 2017 will see some major progress on the project and perhaps even some work on site.

“Watch this space.”