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A Future At The Pictures

A local organisation is preparing a business plan to bring a cinema back to Penicuik.

It was reported last week that Peel Holdings were to develop a new cinema at their retail park in Straiton however local residents are prepared to fight the plans as they create a business plan to bring national leisure operators to Penicuik.

The Pen-Y-Cog Group have vowed to enter into discussions with cinema operators to try to construct a multimillion pound boutique cinema on brownfield land at 52 John Street. The former Jackson St. school site could be transformed should the discussions succeed, in a move that may bring thousands to the town centre.

It is said that the not-for-profit organisation will push the idea of an experimental ‘out-of-city’ boutique cinema, similar to that of the ‘Dominion’ in Morningside in Edinburgh. Such a facility could be used by the national operator to try new products that have not been rolled out across the country. Preliminary plans have shown that the 0.21 hectare site to the north of the Post Office may be able to take three 2/3 size screens and several smaller screens. It is also hoped that local theatrical groups would have a permanent home for their productions.

An artist’s visualisation of the new Everyman Cinema development in Trinity Leeds

It is known that they will contact all three major chains with their plans, Vue, Odeon and Cineworld, however smaller specialist chains will also be included including Everyman Cinemas, a chain that is slowly expanding its offering of boutique cinema viewings towards the Scottish Borders.

They are working in association with the community and are urging those who wish such a development to occur to share a ‘support picture’ on Facebook throughout their friends to raise awareness.

They told us:

Our aim is to engage the community in deciding their own future. The Cinema at 52 John Street would be a revolutionary development that could see the start of a regeneration project within the heart of Penicuik. It is clear that to drive business to the town we require a well respected chain to open, however should our plans fail, we intend to use alternative methods to achieve the funds required to operate a facility ourselves. Penicuik has a great history and we want to make sure that it has a prosperous future too.

The Pen-Y-Cog Group hope to update us on their progress later in the month. Their Facebook campaign can be reached here.