Who would open a Cinema in the Scottish Highlands at the height of a pandemic? Only someone with vision and passion and a deep love both for the arts and the Fort William area (and people). Our own author, Angus MacDonald – author of Ardnish, Ardnish Was Home, and We Fought for Ardnish – opened the doors on the 25th September on his brand new and deeply gorgeous two-screen independent cinema in the heart of Fort William. Along with the 109 and 62 seat auditoriums it has an 84 seat café and wine bar.
The building is in the best position on the high street, Cameron Square on the site of the old town hall. Every effort has been made to make the building a dynamic presence in town, the image above shows the local stone, and traditional red roofed corrugated roof inspired by the village hall in nearby Onich. The café has a beautiful douglas fir ceiling and tables and a terrace, the gents toilets are themed around illegal whisky and the main auditorium has a real red Lotus sports car donated by a local businessman from where a lucky few of the cinema goers can watch the film.
And as much of the build as possible was Scottish! Skye based architects Dualchas designed the building. Rory Flyn, Director says ‘Dualchas were delighted to be involved in designing this important public building for Lochaber and help our client realise his vision’. 3b Construction were the main contractors and Galbraith the project managers. Mowi and Alvance kindly offered sponsorship and BSW kindly donated the timber.
As well as blockbusters the cinema will show classic Scottish films, and host musicians and events in the town. The launch film is Tenet.
Angus MacDonald, OBE, founder (and funder) is from Fort William. ‘I really wanted to create a beautiful hub for the area, to bring locals and visitors into the high street.’