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Games link-up with cinema

Caithness Courier

Thurso Cinema is to play a part in helping make the opening and closing of Glasgow's Commonwealth Games two of the blockbuster events of the year.

Its operators were asked by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to allow the two events to be broadcast on the big screen.

They duly agreed and 25 cinemas across the UK have also signed up.

Cinema owner Rob Arthur (right) approached host broadcaster the BBC to find out if it would allow a live satellite linkup to the opening ceremony at participating cinemas.

The BBC were happy to do so and it has now approved access to a screen displaying live pictures from the opening and closing ceremonies.

"The idea has been bandied about between myself and HIE, who asked if I could approach the BBC to get something off the ground," Mr Arthur said yesterday.

"I contacted someone from the BCC who I previously worked alongside to broadcast the final of Strictly Come Dancing in cinemas and we got an answer straight away to say it could happen.

"Vue, Odeon and Cineworld wanted to be a part of it along with a number of independent cinemas, with Vue wanting to broadcast the event live at all its sites across Scotland.

"The great thing about digital is you don't have to be in the centre of London to find out if something will work."

Cinema-goers in Thurso, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Manchester and the other venues will be able to watch both ceremonies free of charge.

Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The ceremonies will be the first sporting events to be broadcast at the far north cinemas which has screened live feeds from opera and theatre productions.

Mr Arthur believes there is a market for big live sport events and said it was an area he was looking to expand into.

"It will be interesting to see how it goes because there will be no ticket charge, but I think it could do well," he said.