Montrose Playhouse Project is registered as Scottish charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), staffed by a group of local volunteers whose ambitious plan is to renovate the former swimming pool situated on The Mall, Montrose into an Arts Centre & Three-screen Digital Cinema called The Playhouse for the benefit of Montrose and the surrounding areas.
They intend The Playhouse to be accessible and welcoming to all members of the community and to enhance, develop and advance education and the arts.
As well as the cinema screens, The Playhouse will benefit from rentable multi-purpose rooms, conference space and a café bar.
The Playhouse will show the latest blockbuster films as well as classic and independent films, live screenings of, for example, plays, musicals, operas and ballets and even educational tours of museums.
The multipurpose rooms and screens with retractable seating will be available for hire by the public and local groups and businesses for all manner of purposes such as rehearsal or exhibition space for the many local artists and musicians.
The Reel Café Bar, will serve a diverse range of food and drinks sourced from local suppliers wherever possible.
Support for the Project has been overwhelming from the outset, from the public, business owners and the local media alike. Several local businesses have already taken it upon themselves to fundraise on our behalf and to offer their input whether it be financial or in kind.
Start-up funding totalling almost £30,000 received from Firstport, The National Lottery Investing in Ideas and Angus Council enabled them to set up and employ a Specialist Cinema Consultant, to produce the initial Business Plan and Feasibility study as well as employing architects, surveyors and engineers to help with investigating and costing the Project. It also enabled them to build this website to keep the community informed of progress and events.
In September 2017, the community officially purchased the building for the princely sum of £1. Now they have taken ownership, their next step is to raise the funds for the planned DIY SOS style strip out of the building – with over 60 local trades people and DIY enthusiasts have signed up to volunteer their services for the task.
The Montrose Playhouse Project began in February 2013 when Montrose born architect, David Paton, who as a big fan of Film and the Arts had been sketching out plans for a cinema in old, disused buildings for several years, posted on Facebook a design for a new Cinema.
In late 2012 the swimming pool, which had been the town’s only swimming pool since the 1950s, had become surplus to requirements when Angus Council created a new facility down at Marine Avenue. The old, boarded up pool now cuts a lonely figure on The Mall and David, who is passionate about re-using historical buildings where possible, went to work in re-imagining the building, taking inspiration from the former Angus Playhouse in his designs.
Within a few hours of David posting the designs, around 500 people had ‘liked’ the post and were vociferous in their calls for him to try and make this dream a reality. A Working Group was quickly formed from members of the local public who had expressed an interest through the Facebook page and work to develop the Project began.
Within one week the Montrose Playhouse Project was born and had been featured in both local newspapers and radio programmes, while the Facebook page had grown to over 3,000 followers – with the Project had featuring on national television.
For further information, see
The Montrose Playhouse Project
20c Mount Road