Hollywood comic book king Mark Millar has declared Montrose’s new £3.5 million community cinema a Kick-Ass addition to the town he loves.
The genius behind the likes of Kingsman, Wanted and Marvel’s The Avengers is a patron of the three-screen cinema and arts centre unveiled to the Angus public this week.
Coatbridge-born Millar was unable to make the red carpet opening as the spectacular transformation of the town’s old swimming pool was revealed to VIP guests.
But he collaborated with fellow patron, Montrose filmmaker Anthony Baxter, to send a goodwill video message to Playhouse.
And the 51-year-old has let locals into a few wee secrets of happy times spent visiting family in Montrose during his teenage years.
He says: “Unfortunately I’m out of town shooting something, otherwise I’d be up there like a shot.
“I love Montrose and have huge family connections in Montrose to my cousins the Canales – who I like to think of as the Corleones of Montrose.
“In my teenage years I was up there all the time.
“I bought my first booze from an off-licence and I had my first illegal drink in Montrose inside a pub, in the Star Bar,” reveals Millar.
“A lot of good memories – and also my only ever real job.
“I’ve always managed to duck doing real work,” says the award-winning writer.
He recalls a summer spent on the production line of Brechin’s former Anglia Canners fruit and vegetable operation.
But he adds: “The one thing Montrose didn’t have was a cinema and I always thought that was a shame.
“My cousins and I had to jump on a bus to Aberdeen to see Police Academy 2.
“That’s not the case anymore. Montrose has a cinema for the first time in nearly 50 years.
“Usually you hear about things closing just now.
“So isn’t it amazing to hear about something opening, and something good like a cinema.
“I’m absolutely delighted and well done to everybody involved.”
Millar began writing comic books while he was still at school.
In 2017, Netflix made a multi-million dollar swoop for the Millarworld comic book company he founded nearly 15 years earlier.
You’ve Been Trumped creator Baxter’s short film is being screened for audiences flocking to the new attraction.
The opening offering is led by the 25th 007 blockbuster, No Time to Die.
The Montrose Pictures founder’s piece charts the demise of town cinema.
A 1977 screening of Bugsy Malone brought the curtain down on the last Montrose picture house.
Mr Baxter led a three-year pop-up cinema project which ran in a disused town church.
It even saw him head to London to highlight the Angus town’s lack of a cinema to film fans in the heart of the capital.
The film is an intimate portrayal of Montrose landscape artist James Morrison in the years leading up to his death in August 2020.