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Four of the UK’s most beautiful remote cinemas

From an old-school Cornwall picture house to a community-run venue in the Scottish Highlands

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

You know the feeling when you step out of a film screening and, for a brief moment, it seems like you’re stepping out of a fictional world and into real life? What if you could prolong that magical feeling for just a little bit longer? Cinemas don’t always need to be another part of the grey fabric of a city, they can also be in some genuinely cinematic – and properly remote – locations. Don’t believe us? Here are four of the UK’s most isolated picture houses for film buffs and adventurers alike.  

West Side Cinema


A birds eye view shot of a town by the sea
Photograph: West Side Cinema

If you really want to push the boat out – literally – head up to West Side Cinema in Orkney, also known as the ‘cinema on the edge of the world’. This community-run cinema has cabaret-style table seating to create a proper intimate vibe, as well as a ‘bring your own’ policy for food and drink, which is often shared between audience members. Cute.

Discovery Centre Cinema

Isle of Bute 

A green building with a blue sky
Photograph: Isle of Bute Discovery Centre

It may not be the fanciest cinema around, but this cosy spot inside the Isle of Bute visitor information centre has everything you could ever need. With comfy chairs and cheap-as-chips popcorn, it’s basically the perfect place to unwind after a day exploring the island. And how often do you get to say you saw ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ in a community with a population of less than 10,000? Not a lot, I bet. 

Cromarty Community Cinema

Scottish Highlands 

A cinema on a beach
Photograph: Ruth Clark

There’s something special about knowing a venue is entirely run by volunteers. The Cromarty Community Cinema in Scotland was set up in 2004 by a group of local film enthusiasts. It’s right by the sea, there are just 35 seats, and it shows a range of movies for all tastes. Oh, and if you have a date you really want to impress? You can rent the whole cinema privately.

The Rebel


A cinema exterior on a sunny day
Photograph: Ash / Rebel Cinema

On the off chance that you get showers on your trip to Cornwall, The Rebel could be the rainy-day answer you need. A no-frills cinema which is apparently like stepping ‘into a time machine’, it has two screens as well as tickets and snacks which are so decently priced, you’ll never want to buy that £5.99 packet of Maltesers at your local chain ever again.

Want to see more fancy picture houses? Here are the 50 most beautiful cinemas in the world according to us.

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