New boss to transform Picture House in Campbeltown

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The Picture House in 1913 and in 2013Image source, The Picture House
Image caption,
The Picture House was opened to the public for the first time in May 1913

The former managing director of a cinema chain aims to transform the running of Scotland's oldest purpose-built, continuously-operating cinema.

Ex-Apollo Cinemas chief Rob Arthur has been appointed to run The Picture House in Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute.

The plan is to open the cinema every day, for the first time in decades, and offer a larger choice of films.

The A-listed art deco cinema, on the the banks of Campbeltown Loch, celebrated its centenary last May.

Mr Arthur re-opened and established a digital cinema in Thurso and founded a consultancy set up to support the development of digital cinema.

Live performances

He was previously the managing director of Apollo Cinemas, overseeing an estate of 14 cinemas and 83 screens until its sale in 2012.

Over the last year, Mr Arthur was the director of operations at Curzon Cinemas, London's leading independent and arthouse cinema group.

Campbeltown Community Business, which was formed in 1987 to buy and run The Picture House, said Mr Arthur would introduce a new approach to the cinema's programme.

He aims to show up to five films each week and also screen live performances from across the world - such as stage plays, rock concerts and operas.

Jane Mayo, chairman of Campbeltown Community Business, said: "We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have attracted the services of someone with the experience and connections of Rob Arthur of the Thurso Cinema and look forward to working with him as a member of The Campbeltown Picture House team.

"Rob is committed to the training and employment of local people, which will strengthen our community business."

Affordable prices

Mr Arthur, currently managing director of The Thurso Cinema said: "I want the cinema to be at the heart of the Campbeltown and Kintyre communities.

"Feature films are the core business and we aim to bring an exciting programme of movies from the latest blockbusters to arthouse and family entertainment at affordable prices.

"We will extend our opening times and hours to offer more choice and we will shortly announce a full world-class programme of live cultural and entertainment performances from the National Theatre, the Royal Opera, from Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas, from the British Museum and many more great companies."

Last year digital equipment was installed in the cinema. The plan now is to restore the historic building and fully modernise it.

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