Report published on public film screening facilities across Scotland

Published: 10 Jun 2016

The results of research into public screening facilities across Scotland are outlined today (Friday 10 June, 2016) in a report by Drew Wylie Ltd for Creative Scotland.

Providing the most comprehensive picture of film exhibitors in Scotland to date, 324 exhibitor locations have been identified, with 156 exhibitors responding to a detailed survey around facilities, access, and programming. The research presents information on the entire exhibition sector, including multiplexes, independent cinemas, multi-arts venues, community cinemas, festivals, film societies and clubs, and mobile and touring screening facilities.

Screen Machine 

A healthy sector is reported with stability in the number of exhibitors and growth in the amount of screenings and audiences. The research shows particular growth in the film society and festival sub-sectors. 60 film societies/clubs were recorded in 2016, compared to 35 recorded in the Study of Cinema Exhibition in Scotland for Scottish Screen (2005), and 69 festivals showing film were recorded through this research, compared to 11 in the 2005 report.

Film exhibition sits within one of the fastest growing parts of the UK’s creative economy.- Natalie Usher, Director of Screen

Pressures on operations, diversity of programming, geo-demographic gaps in provision, access, environmental accreditation and sustainability were cited by Drew Wylie as key concerns for the sector with specialist training, industry discussions, case studies and improved customer experience referenced as areas for development to ensure continued growth in the sector.

Findings from the research will be presented during an exhibition-focussed panel at Scotland’s Screen Summit on Wednesday 15 June 2016, and will support consultation with the sector through the Screen Sector Leadership Group.

Audience at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 

Natalie Usher, Director of Screen at Creative Scotland, said: “Cinema is the most popular form of venue-based culture in Scotland and film exhibition sits within one of the fastest growing parts of the UK's creative economy.

“This research offers an up to date and comprehensive picture of activity and capacity which we look forward to sharing more widely with the Sector to identify where development opportunities may lie and define shared prioirities for future action to strengthen and widen its reach.”

Creative Scotland will publish its priorities for the exhibition sector later in the year.

Andrew Ormston, Director, Drew Wylie said: “This project has benefited from cooperation and support across the whole of Scottish film exhibition, resulting in both a uniquely comprehensive picture of the sector and a useful resource for the future.”

Download the full report

Mapping Film Exhibition in Scotland - June 2016

A report into public screening facilities across Scotland, based on research conducted by Drew Wylie Ltd for Creative Scotland.

Common Guild Screening in Queen’s Park, Glasgow - Photo by Alan Dimmick 

Further information

The term ‘film exhibition’ includes all communal film viewing opportunities including full and part-time cinemas, multi-arts venues showing film, film festivals, mobile cinemas and screens, community cinemas, film societies, film clubs; in short, every context where audiences watch films together, and every organisation that delivers such activities.

This research is required to update and draw together existing information. This work will inform planning in line with Creative Scotland’s Film Strategy for 2014-17 which outlines our key priorities for the Screen Sector in Scotland.

Creative Scotland collaborated with partners in the sector, including Film Hub Scotland, Regional Screen Scotland and Cinema For All to ensure that the survey is as inclusive as possible, and captures the wide variety of film exhibition activities across Scotland

Creative Scotland supports film exhibition through Regular and Open Funding. We also work in partnership with a number of organisations to provide support at regional and national level for film exhibition in Scotland. 

Vertical Cinema at the Glasgow Short Film Festival - photo credit Eoin Carey

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

About Drew Wylie Ltd

Drew Wylie Ltd. was established in 2010 to provide policy and business advice in the creative and cultural industries sectors. They specialise in areas where creativity and culture connect with a wider policy agenda or operational environment including: urban and rural regeneration; creative and cultural tourism; education and community; leisure and visitor economy; environment and scientific research. Their sector expertise embraces a wide range of creative practice, from the performing and visual arts, to film, festivals and events. Their research, financial planning and fundraising capacity is supported by established Associates with a strong track record in the commercial and not for profit sectors. For further information please visit

Media Contact

Eilidh Walker, Media Relations & PR Assistant, Creative Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)131 523 0019

Images: Screen Machine, Common Guild Screening in Queen’s Park, Glasgow (credit: Alan Dimmick), Edinburgh International Film Festival, Vertical Cinema at Glasgow Short Film Festival (credit: Eoin Carey).