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Virtual concert raises funds needed to save Portmahomack cinema

By Niall Harkiss

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Portmahomack's Carnegie Hall is home to the village cinema... Picture: Linda McMillan
Portmahomack's Carnegie Hall is home to the village cinema... Picture: Linda McMillan

A popular village cinema has raised the funds it required to avoid closure, thanks to a virtual concert broadcast on social media.

For many years, Portmahomack's Carnegie Hall has hosted a New Year’s Day concert, with acts taking to the stage from across the community. But with restrictions forcing them to shelve plans for this year, the Hall committee took the decision to hold an online event.

‘Sofa Sessions from the Port’ was broadcast on Facebook and featured a wide array of pre-recorded performances. The recordings were then released at pre-arranged times throughout the evening with members of the community logging in to watch. The event was hosted by local resident Ross Duff and featured everything from rousing ceilidh band tunes to comedy songs and instrumentals, performers of all ages contributed to a memorable celebration for the village.

In lieu of ticket sales, the organisers appealed to the wider community for donations towards the Carnegie Hall cinema fund, and their efforts have raised almost £1000 so far.

Local resident Ross Duff hosted the event
Local resident Ross Duff hosted the event

Iain Morrison, a Hall committee member, said “The talent and generosity in this village never ceases to amaze me. The concert was fantastic, and we are very grateful to Ross, Emma Foster and Jane Foster for allowing us to raise money for our community cinema. This was recently restarted by local couple Émilie and Samir Atmane and there are significant licensing costs involved for a small, voluntary group. The kindness of donors means we will be able to run the cinema for the next year at least.”

The performances from the event can be viewed on the ‘Sofa Sessions from the Port’ Facebook group, and anyone wishing to support the Carnegie Hall village cinema can do so by donating at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/carnegiehallcinema.

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