Glasgow Film Theatre announces new cinema space (29/11/2012)
Glasgow Film Theatre has announced plans to create a new sixty-seat cinema in the much-loved Rose Street building. The development will also improve disabled access, renovate the foyer and move the café area.
Glasgow City Council has agreed to give a £500,000 grant towards a £1.6million project to expand Glasgow Film Theatre.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: ‘Glasgow is a city that has long been in love with the movies. It is a love affair which has helped turn our city into the centre of Scotland’s film and television industry. However we have to ensure that we continue to support and give a platform to new talent coming into these industries. This is a vital part of the work of GFT which is one of the UK’s most successful cinemas. I am also very aware that the work of the GFT through its learning and outreach programme has helped to inspire and educate many generations of Glaswegians to cultivate a love of film and film making. We are delighted to support the GFT’s expansion plans and hope it will ensure that this unique Glasgow asset continues to go from strength to strength.’
GFT was established on the site of The Cosmo in 1974; 12 Rose Street has been an operating cinema since The Cosmo opened in 1939. GFT is the only major independent cinema of its kind in the West of Scotland welcoming admissions of over 200,000 in the financial year 2011-12, twice the UK screen average admissions.
£100,000 towards the creation of the new cinema space has also been awarded from Creative Scotland. Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development for Creative Scotland said: ‘From screenings of the best in world cinema to schools workshops, Q&As with directors and actors to queues to snap up tickets for the premieres at its acclaimed Festival, GFT’s success is far-reaching and inspiring. This exciting expansion comes at a time when Scottish filmmaking is making significant progress. Creative Scotland is very pleased to support GFT’s ambitions to build on their success, to the benefit of the local community, to which they already contribute so much, filmmakers and everyone who enjoys and supports cinema in Scotland.’
The new developments will create a third screen to cope with demand in the hugely popular cinema; relocate the box office to its original location at the front of the foyer; reconfigure the café by renovating the upstairs bar and creating a bar area in the rear of the foyer; improve the green credentials of GFT through low energy lighting and a new boiler system; and enhance disabled access.
Additional funding has also been awarded by The Robertson Trust, The Gannochy Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Landfill Community Trust, alongside the GFT’s reserves.
Kenneth Ferguson, Director of The Robertson Trust commented 'The Robertson Trust has contributed to GFT’s education and outreach programme for the past three years during which time it has demonstrated real success in using the media of film to engage with young people and in supporting talented young filmmakers from communities throughout the West of Scotland. The Trust is now delighted to be able to offer its support towards the costs of GFT Cinema 3 – a project which will provide increased and flexible space, enabling the team to expand and further develop GFT’s programme of educational activities.'
The lack of space has particularly affected GFT’s international ambitions for Glasgow Film Festival – a hugely successful event and the third largest of its kind in the UK, which runs from 14-24 February 2013. The Festival currently has a revenue return of £7.85 for every £1 invested. The addition of a third cinema screen, which is expected to open at the end of 2013, will help the GFT meet these demands and also increase its education and outreach work.
Bailie Liz Cameron, Chair of Glasgow Film, said 'We are delighted with this announcement and would like to express our thanks to Glasgow City Council. Glasgow Film Festival is the fastest-growing film festival in the UK with admissions of over 35,000 in 2012 and, with GFT as its hub, our new cinema screen will allow us to increase our Festival audiences as we look towards our tenth anniversary in 2014. The addition of Cinema 3 will create up to 1,500 new screening slots per year which will allow us to continue to diversify our cultural programme whilst also providing youth activities, including a home for the Youth Team who curate Glasgow Youth Film Festival.'
From 2014/15 (which will be the first full year of operation), GFT will allocate 300 out of the 1500 new slots at the theatre to non-cinema activity, including youth group meetings, extended talks and debates, and private hire.
Glasgow-based NORD Architecture has been engaged to develop the project.