A Hollywood A-lister has joined the campaign to help save a Perthshire cinema which is “teetering on the brink of closure.”
Goldeneye, Spy Kids and X2 star Alan Cumming has joined the fight to save The Birks Cinema in in his hometown of Aberfeldy.
Cumming, 55, is patron of the community cinema where the team have been fundraising to secure the future of the Dunkeld Street venue.
Staff revealed that they have received over £21,000 in donations over the past month alone, which they say is “staggering.”
And this weekend, Alan added his voice to the campaign, releasing a video message on social media.
Thank you, and a message from Alan Cumming.We have been overwhelmed by the support for our community cinema in recent weeks as we try to weather this storm. Amongst other highlights we have received over £21,000 in donations over the past month alone which is staggering. Thank you for all your support.Every penny raised goes straight into helping to open the cinema again when the time comes, and to help support the amazing work the community projects team are doing.But, we know opening the doors again is going to be very difficult for the cinema. Other, much bigger cinemas than us are on the brink. Just some of the issues we will face include:• We won’t be able open at full capacity, it will be a cautious atmosphere when we re-open• We know we will face health and safety issues• We know many films have halted production or their release will be delayed• We are likely to face full overheads with very limited income, as visitors are going to be slow to return.The Birks Cinema is much more than a cinema. Every penny raised from donations or revenue goes into keeping it open and supporting the young and old in our community.But it's not all doom and gloom! We’ve been working hard to try and secure help too:• We’ve applied for 8 government and public sector grants. These are starting to trickle through, but we have been turned down for some or aren’t eligible, and for others, the funding will not be made available for some timeWe have been overwhelmed by the support for our community cinema in recent weeks as we try to weather this storm. Amongst other highlights, we have received over £21,000 in donations over the past month alone which is staggering. Thank you for all your support.• We’ve been talking to our suppliers (gas, electricity, water, etc) collaborating on billing and cutting costs• We’ve been talking to our staff to ensure we are doing everything we can to support them tooAnd last but by no means least, we are thrilled to share with you a message from our brilliant patron, Alan Cumming, who is asking anyone who can to donate at https://www.givey.com/birkscinema.
Posted by The Birks Cinema Aberfeldy on Friday, 17 April 2020
He said: “The Birks Cinema is an amazing community cinema and I’m proud to be it’s patron, but it’s not just a cinema.
“It’s so much more than that, providing a safe, welcoming space for many across the area and an incredible array of charitable and community projects for a huge range of individuals and groups.”
He said: “Lego for children with special needs and chair-based movement for older people are just two of the activities run and organised by the cinema team that provide a lifeline to many in the area.
“Arts and film provide their own lifeline too, of course, and The Birks really does bat above its weight, with an impressive programme of independent titles and mainstream blockbusters. Something, indeed, for everyone.”
The team are not only trying to keep the business afloat just now, but are future-proofing for what will not be an easy restart.
Bosses say they won’t be able open at full capacity when lockdown does end as it will be a “cautious atmosphere”.
But the team have had success with applying for government grants and are hugely appreciative off all the public donations.
“But with the unprecedented situation resulting from coronavirus, The Birks has been hit hard,” Alan added. “The doors have been closed and we don’t know when they’ll reopen.
“Closing the doors to this venue has a much wider impact than just not showing some great films. The future of this amazing small art space is teetering on the brink of closure.
“I’m asking you to help if you possibly can. Please donate to keep the cinema going and reopen again.
“We’re asking you to truly help save our cinema. Your loyalty now will allow the Birks to continue building a sustainable vibrant future.”