CINEMA NAIRN is a small group of volunteers who love watching films on the big screen, and who wanted to see full-time cinema return to Nairn. It started over four years ago, and with the help of the Nairn Community & Arts Centre, it has gone from strength to strength, showing nearly 65 films to ever increasing audiences.

Over the years our programme of films has been praised for the eclectic mix of old and new and for our success at introducing the local community to hidden gems that they might have missed. We aim to appeal to a broad spectrum of interests and will once again show contemporary hits and old black and white classics, as well as films with a Scottish slant. Add to the mix two musicals, a documentary and two wonderful foreign language films, and we believe that the 2014 will be seen as our best programme yet.

Films are screened in the Nairn Community & Arts Centre on King Street (just off the A96), and occasionally in the Little Theatre in Fishertown.

Admission is £5.00 for adults and £3.00 for those under 18 years of age. There is also a loyalty scheme - so get your card stamped each time you come and you'll get the sixth film free!

Each year we screen up to four matinees to which people of any age are welcome to join us for a reduced price of £2.50, and with the added bonus of tea and home bakes, it's a great way to spend a Monday afternoon!

Cinema Nairn Trailer Bar - click arrows left/right to see next trailer

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Press coverage builds up anticipation as Nairn film day nears

Things seem to be hotting up with press coverage all over the place (except Nairnshire) first the BBC with:

Oscar actress inspires cinema bid

Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton has been the inspiration behind a new group's bid to reopen the first cinema in a Highlands town since the 1970s. The actress co-organised two film festivals that have featured in Nairn in the past two years. She also has a home in the town. Cinema Nairn said her events suggested there was local demand for a new venue. More of this story here

Then the Press & Journal:

Silver screen dream for Nairn cinema club
town will hold a classic movie day following summer film festival

Moves have started to bring cinema back to Nairn after an absence of 30 years.The Highland seaside town, famed as the holiday resort of early movie star Charlie Chaplin and home to Oscar winner Tilda Swinton, hasn’t had a cinema since the 1970s when the Playhouse projected its final reel and closed its doors before eventually reopening as the British Legion and then Nairn County Social Club.  
Picture courtesy of the Press and Journal
More of this story here

Then The Scotsman picks up the tale with:

Film classics boost cinema campaign

The seaside town of Nairn is famed as the favourite resort of Charlie Chaplin and the current home of Oscar winner Tilda Swinton. But despite its cinematic pedigree, the town has suffered an intermission of more than 30 years without a vital element – a cinema.In the 1970s, queues gathered at Nairn's picture house to see Grease before the John Travolta blockbuster was screened in Inverness, 16 miles away.

More of this story here

And Hi-Arts give us some coverage on their website with the following:

Cowboys, Kilts and a Wizard Idea
Cinema set to return to Nairn after 30 years

Over the last two summers Nairn has had a starring role in the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams and Pilgrimage film festivals, and it’s clear to local movie buffs there is a demand for regular screenings.

More of this story here

The Herald took this line...

Tilda’s film town may get its own cinema

The Highland town used by the actress Tilda Swinton as the base for her film ­festivals could get a cinema for the first time in three decades.

Film fans in Nairn, which is also famous as Charlie Chaplin’s holiday resort, have been without a permanent venue since the Playhouse projected its final reel in the 1970s. After closing its doors, it eventually re-opened as the British Legion, then Nairn County Social Club.

Now there are moves afoot to bring the big screen back to the town on the shores of the Moray Firth. Over the past two summers, Nairn has had a starring role in Swinton’s Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams and Pilgrimage film festivals, and local movie buffs say there is a clear demand for regular screenings.

More on this story here


  1. good luck with your new venture, as a wee loon
    from Nairn spent most of my paperboy money
    visiting The Regal & Playhouse & getting thrown
    out for farting during the kissing scenes or
    caught stomping my feet when the film reel broke, as now a lot older & hopefully better
    behaved i promise when i visit one of your shows i will conduct myself correctly

  2. I thought the Regal closed in the early 80s a few years after the Playhouse.

  3. I'm not sure myself but I feel you could be correct, don't know where the information came from (not me)...

  4. The Wee loon from Nairn i think i used to sit
    in the same row as you at the flicks remember
    the evil smell, the patrons thought someone
    let of a stinkbomb but is was you who let off
    but never let on, The Regal when i remember was
    owned by Mr Fairley & often showed the X rated
    films which you were not allowed to view unless
    you were over 18years of age but we used to lie
    about our age & hope to get in, how i loved
    Raquel Welch & The Playhouse closed a few years
    after remember some of the staff who worked
    there Mr Reid, Big Gladys, Mrs Robb,
    Mr McAndrew, Mrs Ducan to name but a few.
    happy days at the one & nines with a bag of
    butterkissed popcorn, hell there is a tear in
    my eye

  5. Remember going to see a film in the Regal after the bingo downstairs, a fog of tobacco smoke that had drifted upwards waited for the unwary...

  6. As far as I remember, there was a gap when the Playhouse closed, and then the Regal showed films into the 80s. Don't know where all this stuff about the Playhouse being the last cinema came from. Nice to see that a cinema may return after all this time though.

  7. The Regal started showing films again in 1978,afew months after the playhouse closed. The bingo was on in the early evening,then the films started around 9.15. I remember it well,was the projectionist in 1978 and yes we had star wars and grease before Inverness and cleaned up with them.Happy days indeed. William Smart.

  8. The Regal did start showing films after the Playhouse closed. New projection equipment was installed. I remember it as a Westrex 7000 projector with a long playing tower. I remember seeing "Grease" there on a sunday afternoon. Old Mr. Fairley was still there, he owned the Regal.


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