Cash boost gives vintage Bo’ness cinema a 21st century makeover

The Hippodrome in Bo’ness - Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema - is to receive a grant of more than £60,000 to pay for far-reaching improvements.

The Screen Scotland funding will allow upgrading of the cinema’s existing projector and audio equipment, helping it to offer a still better movie experience to the next generation of film lovers.

Technological improvements will make the visual and audial quality of movies significantly better than at the moment, without spoiling in any way the unique ambience and style of the classic cinema’s interior.

Lesley O’Hare, Culture and Libraries Manager at Falkirk Community Trust, which operates the Hippodrome, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to enhance the presentation of the Hippodrome’s regular programme and live screenings of theatre and music events bringing 21st Century technology to this much-loved venue.

“The cinema’s provision for partially sighted customers will also be improved with new infrared receivers for audio described screenings helping to ensure that the Hippodrome is accessible to all.”

The Hippodrome runs a unique silent film festival, and throughout the year screens a varied programme of both silent and “talkie” film classics.

It featured in the recent BBC document about Falkirk’s BA Cowboys (the factory workers who made locally-produced Westerns in their spare time during the 70’s), in which - in an emotional evening for the cowboys and their families - it was the venue for a special big screen showing of their original films.