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Next month could see the last travelling cinema nights in the Western Isles, unless a radical intervention brings investment in the Screen Machine.

Tickets went on sale on 7 February for big-screen award winners including Poor Things, Wonka and the new Presley bio-pic Priscilla, to be screened during a two-week tour of the Western Isles.

The mobile cinema is due in Castlebay from 6-9 March, then in Daliburgh, Carinish, Liniclate and Tarbert until 19 March.

But the current 70-seater mobile cinema is an emergency lease vehicle, after the original Screen Machine became too unreliable on the road – and the lease expires in April.

Screen Machine said: “Beyond that, without intervention, the Screen Machine service will be wound down.”

The bleak prospect of discontinuation, after 25 years when isolated island and rural communities have enjoyed silver screen magic on their doorstep, has led to a huge appeal for help.

Earlier this month, pupils from P5-7 classes at Castlebay Primary School hit the headlines with their heartfelt appeal to the brightest star they could think of – Dame Judi Dench.

Their letters were so persuasive that Dame Judi herself wrote to First Minister Humza Yousaf, pleading the case of Barra islanders for their much-loved cinema nights.

Still awaiting government intervention, Screen Machine’s co-ordinators said: “We urgently require significant investment to enable us to commission the construction of a brand-new greener Screen Machine.

“At the moment, our primary objective is securing 50% of the cost from the Scottish Government, so the best thing you can do is contact your MSP or councillor.”

Full guidance on how to help lobby for a future Screen Machine is given here https://www.screenmachine.co.uk/ways-to-help/

The pictures show the old Screen Machine on the road, and customers waiting outside for the show to begin in Tiree (Screen Machine).