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Focus on touring cinemas: NEAT Flicks

Do you want to set up a Neighbourhood Cinema but feel you need help? Using the services of a touring cinema can be a great way of getting started.

  • An audience watching a screening of Sunshine on Leith
    NEAT Flicks' screening of Sunshine on Leith at The Glenesk Retreat. 

Many groups are keen to start a film programme but are unclear about issues such as licensing and whether they can run a film programme that is financially viable. Touring cinema schemes support community groups as they take the plunge into the wonderful world of community cinema by providing advice on starting up as well as ongoing support with programming, marketing, training and equipment hire. The coordination provided by a touring cinema network allows individual promoters to share their ideas and experiences with other promoters, and to access certain programming, funding and training opportunities that might otherwise not be available. Touring cinemas are also an ideal long term solution for some communities.

Find a touring cinema that operates near you.

Touring case study: NEAT Flicks

North East Arts Touring (NEAT) offer a community cinema experience and an opportunity for training and development through their touring scheme.

NEAT is a charity arts organisation that operates in the North East of Scotland. It supports a network of volunteer promoters to bring professional theatre, dance and film to their community venues across Moray, Aberdeenshire and Angus. NEAT Flicks, the organisation’s film project, was launched in 2013, and has been growing steadily with a current network of 17 film promoters.


Karelia Wright, The Project Co-ordinator, told us a little bit more about NEAT Flicks: 

“The project has brought a community cinema experience to underserved, rural areas where people would otherwise have little opportunity of visiting the cinema. The average distance from one of NEAT’s community venues to a commercial cinema is 27 miles. Some venues are so rural that it can take up to an hour and a half to drive to the nearest commercial cinema. Only two of the 17 communities NEAT works with are served by train with the remainder relying on infrequent bus services. For many people living in the area, a local community cinema provides a reasonably priced, convenient and sociable option for film screenings.”

  • Lindsay Alexander (BFI) and Karelia Wright (NEAT)


    Lindsay Alexander from the BFI and Karelia Wright from NEAT celebrate the launch of NEAT Flicks at Portsoy Salmon Bothy.


  • Magic Movie Mobile Cabinet

    New Deer Public Hall, one of the community cinemas that NEAT were able to set up through the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema Touring Fund, recently received a set of kit through the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema Equipment Fund. This has been a great help for the New Deer team who previously had to travel a significant distance to collect screening equipment.

  • Young Projectionists at Portsoy Salmon Bothy


    Three young projectionists receiving their NEAT training certificates from Vinay Ruparelia of the Portsoy Salmon Bothy.


People of all ages are getting involved with community cinema through NEAT Flicks. The Portsoy Salmon Bothy team range in age from 17 to 70 with the older members focusing on promotion and the younger members responsible for projection. A total of five young projectionists have been trained by NEAT and take turns screening films at Portsoy.

The Mearns Youth Forum, a group of young people in Laurencekirk, have been screening films through NEAT at their secondary school. Their aim of involving the wider community in their new school campus is meeting with great success and proving a real hit with local people. Having taken advice from the National Autistic Society and Dimensions, they are also planning their first autism friendly screening.