Dame Judi Dench in bid to save Oban cinema

Image caption, Dame Judi has become a patron of the Oban Phoenix cinema

Oscar winning actress Dame Judi Dench has joined a campaign to save a small Scottish cinema.

Dame Judi, who regularly holidays in the Oban area, is the latest star name to become patron of the town's cinema, the Oban Phoenix.

It closed last summer after its owners went into liquidation.

Santander Bank, which now owns the cinema, agreed to postpone an auction sale to give local people the chance to raise cash to save it.

Famous names

The local community now hopes to raise a £20,000 deposit with a view to eventually meeting the £195,000 auction guide price.

Other famous names who have agreed to become patrons of the cinema include Robbie Coltrane, Tilda Swinton, Dougray Scott, and Rowan Atkinson.

Campbell Cameron, Oban town centre manager, said: "We are delighted that Dame Judi Dench has given us her support.

"She has an affinity with the area because she comes up here on her holidays."

He said the group had now raised about £12,000 in cash donations, plus a further £8,000 in pledges.

Mr Cameron added: "What I am hoping now is that we can take the £20,000 up to £50,000 over the next four to eight weeks, firstly to raise money to get the project going and secondly to bring the people of Oban, Lorn and the Isles together, because it is really important that we have community involvement here.

"Our dream is to make it a cinema that Oban can be proud of, we want to make it like going to the cinema in the city, without having to drive 100 miles."

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