A little sunshine comes to Gauldry as new community cinema set to launch

Jack Cockin outside the Morison Duncan Hall
Jack Cockin outside the Morison Duncan Hall

A village in Fife is preparing for the opening of a brand new cinema after some hard work getting the funds together to secure it.

Gauldry, near Newport-on-Tay, will be debuting the facility with a screening of Scottish film Sunshine on Leith, which was based on songs from Auchtermuchty’s finest, The Proclaimers.

The singing Reid brothers, famous for mega-hit I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), were invited to attend and open the screen at the village hall.

Unfortunately, due to their busy schedule, they were unable to make it, but the band’s management did get in contact wishing the village the ‘best of luck’ with the venture.

Integral to putting it together was Jack Cockin, who said: “I had the idea a couple of years ago to try and set up a community cinema in our village.”

He added that he compiled a questionnaire with about six questions to every house in Gauldry and Balmerino to gauge the response of the community. There was only one negative response.

Mr Cockin then took the idea further.

“I went to the Morison Duncan Hall Management Committee, which oversees the village hall and has charitable status,” he said. “They thought it was a good idea, so I began applying for funding on their behalf.”

He had to research what equipment would be needed to make it work, and followed that up by bringing in a sound engineer to examine the hall acoustics to see what work was required.

He also visited Newburgh and Colinsburgh community cinemas for advice.

The hard work paid off when they were awarded £5000 by the Lottery ‘Awards for All’ Scotland.

The money was enough to install all of the equipment, which was done by an electrician, Bill Webster, and joiner, Alan Williamson from the village who donated their time to the project.

As this was done, a sub-committee was set up to oversee the running of the cinema.

Mr Cockin said they are “committed to showing films of various genres” which he hopes will “encompass a mixed programme during the spring and autumn”.

People can become members, offering them reduced ticket prices as well as giving the hall some up from income; allowing the cinema to have the funds needed to buy films from distributors.

The cinema will start showing films from May 20 with Sunshine on Leith.