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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
Public urged to back film project
Film reel
The picture house has aimed to broaden its programme
A picture house in Angus has been gearing up to launch its most ambitious season to date, despite an increasingly bigger question mark hanging over it.

The Montrose Picture House, which has now bought its own equipment with a 5,000 local council grant, is now aiming to show more films than ever.

But its home at the town's Mitchell Centre is facing an uncertain future.

The volunteers who run the not for profit project have asked members of the public to lend their support.

Until the summer, those involved in the project had to make a 160 mile round trip to pick up and return hired cinema equipment.

The clock is ticking and it's a stark choice
Anthony Baxter
Picture house founder

But after receiving the grant, the picture house operators said they hoped to show a wider range of films as well as attracting more visiting directors.

However, the Mitchell Centre's present owners, the Church of Scotland, has said it would soon be forced to sell the building unless it could be properly maintained.

Picture house founder Anthony Baxter said someone who was able to manage the building and deal with maintenance had to be found.

He said: "The clock is ticking and it's a stark choice - a vibrant and exciting cinema and arts space for people of all ages, or the loss of yet another of Montrose's unique public buildings."

The project, which has aimed to cater for the lack of cinemas between Aberdeen and Dundee, has also received the backing of Scots film director Ken Loach, who urged volunteers to "keep battling" in their campaign to press arts agencies for support.

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