Cinema proposal gains huge support

AMBITIOUS proposals have been unveiled to convert the old Montrose swimming pool into a performance venue and cinema for the town and surrounding area.

The idea, which is at its most tentative stage, has been put forward by local film and music lover David Paton who is keen to see the empty building put to use and to have a purpose-built venue in Montrose.

Although he began working on it as a private project, public support has snowballed dramatically since he posted designs on Facebook and it now has a dedicated page, which has attracted more than 1,500 ‘likes’ in its first 24 hours.

David, senior technician with John D Crawford Architectural Services Ltd, said he has been enthusiastic about Montrose having its own cinema again since he was a child and feels the swimming pool offers an ideal opportunity to bring such a facility to life.

He said: “It’s something I’ve just been working on myself but I’ve been thinking about it for as long as I can remember and I’ve had ideas for three or four different buildings that could have been converted into cinemas. I’ve been a film fan since I was little and the town used to have two great cinemas. It has nothing now, which is a shame because there’s such a vibrant arts and music scene in town.

“When I saw that the pool was being put up for sale I thought it would be ideal. I’ve been using the DCA in Dundee as a model and something like that would be great, and it would mean that people wouldn’t have to travel so far.”

As well as drawing up plans, which include a 600-seat auditorium, bar and cafe, David has also produced a feasibility study looking at aspects including possible usage and parking requirements. No costings have yet been carried out but, spurred on by the level of support on Facebook, David said he is keen to investigate possible funding sources and investors.

David’s drawings can be viewed on the Montrose Playhouse Project page at http://www.facebook.com/MontrosePlayhouseProject

Read more on this story in this week’s Review and let us know what you think of the proposals by e-mailing news@montrosereview.com or via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MontReview