Aberdeen’s independent cinema has launched a fundraiser to help keep it going over the next few months.
Belmont Filmhouse on Belmont Street shut its doors in March due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
As cinemas will not be able to open until the projected phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of isolation, it has said that independent cinemas are facing a huge challenge to re-open, as well as having to implement social distancing measures which will significantly reduce audience sizes.
To help it through this period, it has launched a fundraising campaign which hopes to raise £25,000.
Belmont Filmhouse has asked members of the public to donate £40 – the price of a membership – to the cinema to help it get back on its feet, or whatever amount people can afford.
It will also have to invest extra money into making the building safe when it does open, and although it has received support through grants and is making use of the furlough scheme, it has said it will continue to be difficult to make ends meet when it can re-open.
So far, more than £1,300 has been raised.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
The cinema screens more than 400 films a year, as well as curating seasons and special programmes themed around film types or directors.
It also hosts a film education programme which is attended by more than 5,000 pupils each year, and recently launched an initiative for older people at risk of isolation.
Juliet Tweedie, head of development for Belmont Filmhouse, said: “We have all been so touched by the outpouring of love and support for Belmont Filmhouse since we closed our doors in March.
“The last three months have been very challenging. We have been very lucky to be able to access support from Creative Scotland, Aberdeen City Council, Scottish Government and the UK Government through the furlough scheme.
“Even with this support to help with the immediate financial strain, we anticipate that as well as a reduction in admissions when we do re-open, due to constraints on capacity in the building and changing habits of customers, we will have to invest hard cash into making the building safe and navigable for our customers and staff.”
She added: “We need your help to secure our future, so that we can continue our work as Aberdeen’s only independent cinema and a hugely active charity in the city. We are a vital part of our community, and we don’t want to give up any of it.
“We recognise that this is a time of uncertainty, and other charities may be approaching you for help. We are so grateful for any donations, however large or small, and thank you for thinking of us.”
To donate to the fundraiser, visit gofundme.com/f/belmont-filmhouse
Alternatively, it is also accepting cheques sent to Belmont Filmhouse, 49 Belmont Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1JS.