Edinburgh Film Festival organisers outline plans for huge £50m cinema complex
(Credit: Richard Murphy Architects)

Edinburgh Film Festival organisers outline plans for huge £50m cinema complex

The Edinburgh Film Festival has outlined plans for a huge £50m cinema complex which will become the new home of film in the city.

In what will be the first of its kind in the UK, the new Edinburgh Filmhouse has proposed a major 11-storey building to be located in the middle of Festival Square on Lothian Road.

“Edinburgh’s Filmhouse has today revealed a bold new vision to create an internationally significant, fully accessible and environmentally sustainable landmark home for film and screen culture in Edinburgh,” they said in a statement. “It will provide unrivalled spaces and facilities for everyone to watch film, to make film and to learn about film and filmmaking in all its diversity.”

 The award-winning Edinburgh based Richard Murphy Architects have spearheaded the project which will include six new cinema screens fit for all formats which will include 4K digital, and 16mm, 35mm and 70mm film. The tower will also boast education and outreach activity opportunities, a cafe bar, a new cultural industries hub, a restaurant and rooftop event space and more.

“For more than 40 years Filmhouse has been at the centre of Edinburgh’s cultural life, and for more than 70 years Edinburgh International Film Festival has been an international beacon for film and film culture,” Ken Hay, CEO of Centre for the Moving Image, said. “This proposed new building will transform what we’re able to do for Edinburgh’s residents and Scotland’s film community, as well as providing Scotland with a physical celebration of the most popular artform. Through doubling the number of screens and seats for regular cinema-goers, creating dedicated education and learning spaces, and developing an iconic festival centre, all within a fully accessible and carbon neutral building, this really is a 21stcentury temple for film.

Hay added: “We are hugely excited about sharing this vision during the consultation period, and are looking forward to engaging with as many people as we can in helping us shape the future for Filmhouse and lovers of film.”

Sandy Begbie CBE, Chair of Centre for the Moving Image, added: “These are very exciting times for Filmhouse – the opportunity to create a new home for film in Edinburgh, with a landmark building in the city centre.  This will provide a new state of the art home for Filmhouse and Edinburgh International Film Festival, but at its heart this is for the citizens of Edinburgh and Scotland and the entire film industry.

“The building will retain the purpose, values and culture that has served us so well over many years but in a building that will take us forward for the next 50 years.  This will also allow us to continue the valuable work we do in the community and the development of talent for the Scottish film industry.  This is what makes us different and the new building will provide the facilities to grow and develop that work.”

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