SCOTLAND’S mobile cinema is at risk of closing after serving rural communities for nearly 25 years.

The 80-seat Screen Machine tours the Highlands and Islands, Argyll and Bute and North Ayrshire but has been out of service due to breakdowns.

While Regional Screen Scotland (RSS) – which operates the service – has leased a replacement until April next year, there is no funding in place beyond then.

Posting on Facebook, RSS said a new mobile cinema would cost at least £1.4 million and take up to 18 months to build.

They also called on the Scottish Government to intervene.

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They wrote: “Next month will mark the 25th anniversary of the Screen Machine service, and whilst this is a cause for celebration, there is reason for concern. Our lease of Cinemobile will expire in April 2024, and without investment for a brand new greener mobile cinema, the Screen Machine service will be wound down.

“We need the Scottish Government to provide 50% of the approx. £1.4m for a new cinema. This will allow us to begin construction as we fundraise the rest of the balance. We need you to write to MSPs to let them know you care about the future of the Screen Machine service.

“We understand that this may come as a shock to some of you, but we believe that with the voices of our communities behind us, we will be able to build a new cinema and continue to bring films to all of you for many more years.”

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Fiona Fowler, of Regional Screen Scotland, also told the BBC that some were already missing out because the leased vehicle could not be transported to seven islands, including Cumbrae and Jura.

She said she worries about the future of the service, adding: "With nothing in the pipeline we will be forced into winding the service down."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The Scottish Government values the importance of our cultural organisations and their contribution to the wellbeing of the country to promote the arts, provide employment and engage with communities across Scotland."