Edinburgh is planning a new world-class cinema facility, seating 1,600, at the Festival Theatre.

Edinburgh is planning a new world-class cinema facility, which will become the largest cinema space in Scotland. The Festival Theatre in Edinburgh — already an impressive 2,500 square-foot venue for theatre, music, dance and opera — will install new digital cinema facilities in its 1,600-seat venue (the cinema will be flexible to also screen on 35mm).

Work on adding the digital cinema components will start immediately so that it will be readied for the 2010 Edinburgh International Film Festival (June 16-27). The venue, located on Nicolson Street near the EIFF’s current headquarters, will also have the capacity to host major film premieres year round.

The project is going ahead thanks to $371,000 (£245,000) funding from Scottish Government to the theatre’s managers, Festival City Theatres Trust.

Hannah McGill, Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival said: “We at EIFF are tremendously excited to add the spectacular Festival Theatre to our list of valued venue partners throughout the city. This is a terrific boost for the Festival and for Edinburgh’s standing in the world of film.”

John Stalker, Chief Executive of Festival City Theatres Trust, added: “We are so excited. Together with our soon to be constructed rehearsal facility, the installation of digital cinema completes the original vision and ambition for the Festival Theatre to be Scotland’s pre-eminent national centre for the creative arts.

“We look forward to working with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, providing it with an elegant and dramatic setting for its red carpet events, screenings and premieres. Throughout the year we also hope to enrich our programme with unique film presentations as well as ultimately broadcasting work performed at the Festival Theatre to other venues around Scotland and beyond. This is a unique opportunity for the City and for Scotland and we are thrilled that the Festival Theatre is to play such a central role in the future of the Film Festival.”