Christmas came early for film fans of all ages as the latest instalment of Kirky Picture Palace took a thrilling and festive turn at the weekend.
Kirkintilloch Town Hall was transformed into a winter wonderland as part of a 'Kirkymas Special' - with seasonal screenings of Frozen 2, Last Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life.
As well as the magical movies and refreshments, there was a snow machine keeping things ‘Frozen’ indoors and an ensemble of members from Kirkintilloch Youth Band - which recently gained a silver award at the prestigious Scottish Youth Brass Band Championships in Perth - entertained with a range of festive favourites.
The new initiative was launched in October by Your Kirky - aka Kirkintilloch Community Council - following local consultation and there are plans for events throughout 2020.
No spoilers (until the end of this article), but January's films are set to include the latest instalment of a certain space saga and a miaow-usical which aims to inspire 'felines' of joy...
Your Kirky has been working with East Dunbartonshire Council and other partners including East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust (which operates Kirkintilloch Town Hall), Regional Screen Scotland and INDY Cinema Group.
Nigel Rooke, from Your Kirky, said, "What an incredible day (and evening) once again as Kirkintilloch Town Hall was transformed into a winter wonderland for film fans of all ages.
"We sold an amazing 800 tickets for the four screenings - including two outings for Frozen 2 - with tickets going quicker than Santa on a turbo-charged sleigh. The snow machine was particularly good fun, with youngsters having fun dancing and playing in an indoor snowscene.
"I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has helped Kirky Picture Palace to be such a blockbuster smash - including those 'behind the camera' helping to organise the events and, of course, the brilliant audiences who have supported us from the very start. We'll see you in January - until then, may the Force be with you!"
Feedback from the public included:
- "It was fantastic - we all loved it. Great experience. Looking forward to the next one."
- "Took my parents to see It's a Wonderful Life. Had a great evening. The band and the 'snow' were nice touches."
- "Great family time."
Councillor Susan Murray, Vice Convener of the Council's Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee, is a firm supporter of the cinema initiative.
She said, "Kirky Picture Palace is a real homegrown success and I'm delighted we have been able to support the events - helping to attract hundreds of people into the town centre. Initiatives like this are a real boost to the local economy, with many people also shopping, eating out and socialising whilst in the town.
"It's a real tonic at this time of year to see so many happy families enjoying themselves and getting into the Christmas spirit - especially within an iconic venue like Kirkintilloch Town Hall. Well done to everyone involved."
The next instalment of Kirky Picture Palace is on Saturday 25 January 2020 and the line-up is already taking shape - including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Cats.
* If you have feedback about the event then Your Kirky want to hear from you - visit https://forms.gle/k3fKTvdaCeyEG2u49
* For a snow-tastic video from the Christmas edition of Kirky Picture Palace - held on Saturday 14 December 2019 - visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MUySmUzPy0&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1I0bRjL4qWgaqUsvPTl3AGPDuPmNm1hZbGNOIc-iY4v3v9mnfZHXBkuvM