Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Actor Alan Cumming supports cinema revamp

The Birks Cinema
The cinema has been derelict since the early 1980s

Hollywood actor Alan Cumming is backing a campaign to reopen a derelict cinema in his Perthshire home town.

The Goldeneye and Spykids star has agreed to become patron of the 1930s Birks Cinema in Aberfeldy, which closed almost 30 years ago.

The Friends of Birks, the group campaigning to restore it, is hoping to raise more than £1m and reopen it as a working cinema in 2011.

Cumming was born in Aberfeldy in 1965. He now lives in New York and London.

Charlotte Flower, from the Friends of Birks, said Cumming had agreed to become patron several months ago but did not want his association made public until the group bought the Art Deco cinema.

The purchase was completed on Friday following a Scottish government regeneration grant.

Mrs Flower said she was "delighted" that Cumming, who was awarded an OBE in November, wanted to be involved.

"I think his roots are important to him and this is his industry - so it's a perfect association," she said.

Alan Cumming
The actor was born in Aberfeldy in 1965

Cumming's father was a forester for the Atholl estates in 1965, when the actor was born.

The Friends of Birks needs to raise £900,000 to renovate the building and a further £400,000 to equip it as a 92-seat cinema.

A bar and cafe will also be built in the town centre premises, which will be community-run.

Mrs Flower told BBC Scotland raising that amount of money was a "scary" prospect, but said she hoped local people would get behind the venture and make it a centre of community life.

"People have so many fond memories of cinemas - as a kid going on a Saturday morning, or people courting in cinemas. And it's such a romantic industry," she said.



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