Solar-powered shed cinema is nation’s smallest

IT is a far cry from the 
multiplex experience, with no surround sound, no 3D and no chance of getting a large popcorn for the main feature.

But a tiny wooden shed on a remote East Lothian harbour has its own special selling point, having been 
transformed into what is believed to be Scotland’s smallest cinema, with a spectator capacity of just ten.

The diminutive venue is also understood to have the honour of being the only solar-powered film theatre in the country.

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It is thought the Beach Hut cinema in Dunbar, which was officially launched on Sunday, has now replaced the 69-seater Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre in Dumfries as Scotland’s smallest moviehouse.

But there won’t be any 3D Hollywood blockbusters or movie classics showing in the Victoria Harbour shed – which will instead screen a series of films created by six artists, some with international reputations.

Susie Goodwin, creative director at North Light Dunbar – the art group which runs the 9ft by 10ft cinema – said she believed it had clinched two Scottish records with the small-scale silver screen.

“I think we are definitely the only solar-powered cinema in Scotland and we’re probably the smallest as well,” she said.

“It opened at the weekend and has a counter set up which shows how much solar energy is being generated. People have been quite bowled over and I’ve been hearing lots of people talking about it around town.”

The Beach Hut, financed and constructed by homebuilder Taylor Wimpey, was established to provide a creative workspace in Dunbar that was accessible and could double as an exhibition gallery.

“There are no creative venues in Dunbar and this is a space where we can create happenings and pull people together,” said Ms Goodwin.

“The hut connects with the landscape but is also a really cosy space inside as well. The door remains open and is right on the working harbour.”

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Eight people turned out for the maiden screening featuring a video work by intermedia artist Karen Gabbitas. It is thought around 50 visitors a day will drop into the Beach Hut over the coming week.

The cinema programme, dubbed Filmscape, will screen short films daily which concentrate on the concept that a “landscape is a cultural image, a visual way of representing, structuring or symbolising our surroundings”.

Running until Friday, a two-hour loop of short films – all under ten minutes – will be shown from noon to 4pm followed by a daily feature film, lasting around half an hour.

Ms Goodwin said: “It’s about heritage, generating new memories for a new generation.

“Dunbar has huge potential in terms of landscape resources and the people as well. It’s part of the process, artists are making work in the Beach Hut as people find them. It’s got a resonance and is relevant and not something that’s been imported.”