THE Press can put you in the pictures with exclusive news that a 66-seater Unicorn Cinema is set to open in Dunfermline early next year.

We can also reveal that Dunfermline Cinema Project (DCP) have chosen 25 New Row to be the venue for the exciting new venture, with a planning application for a change of use submitted to Fife Council last week.

Formerly a car parts shop and then an exotic reptile emporium, the empty retail unit is now set to host the magic of the movies for a town centre audience – and at a more affordable price.

DCP launched in May after dissatisfaction with the Odeon cinema at Fife Leisure Park – the most expensive in Scotland – led to the Press' Take Press Action campaign demanding lower ticket prices.

At the time, Graeme Spence, from DCP, noted the "massive response" to our campaign and a group of people came up with the idea that there should be an alternative, with the vision for an independent community cinema growing from there.

"We will be cheaper. I can't say what our pricing structure will be as we're still to agree it but we will be significantly cheaper.

"I know one of the other problems is people struggling to get to the Odeon as buses don't serve where they live or aren't regular enough.

"I think we can also drive traffic into town at times when it's a bit quieter; that early evening period for example."

Graeme added: "It's a good size, 66 seats, for most audiences. Of course, when there's a big movie launch it will be a little tight but we'll mitigate that by putting on a lot of showings.

"We're hoping to open early in the New Year and we're committed to being here long-term.

"We're not expecting too many issues. It's got good parking and public transport links, it's in the town centre and will be fully accessible."

He continued: "Being in the town centre is critical as it needs all the help it can get. Dunfermline is still doing a lot better than other town centres but after the collapse of the BID company (Dunfermline Delivers) this is a really good news story for the town.

"It's a useful wee space and it's also opposite the Alhambra and their new studio theatre, so it'll be like a little entertainment quarter."

DCP set out to crowdfund £40,000 and it's been a hugely impressive project which has, in the space of a few months, gone from an idea to reality thanks to a real community effort.

"Everyone is a volunteer. We're fortunate enough to have an architect who is doing the planning and application for a building warrant, we've got a builder who's going to help us, plumbers, electricians, the Alhambra donated seats, it's all people putting in their own bit.

"We've got the projectionist who used to work in the Robins too!"

There were hopes that DCP could open up the old Robins cinema on East Port but it wasn't to be.

"It was too expensive and it would have taken a lot more work than we're proposing to do.

"As a community project, you have to look at what you can do and what you can deliver."

A lease has been negotiated, with an initial five-year plan dependent on planning approval, and a name chosen.

Graeme laughed: "In an entirely unscientific test, we asked a panel of children and they all loved the name!

"The unicorn is Scotland's national animal, of course it's fictional, and we wanted that link with Dunfermline being the ancient capital.

"We also had to come up with a name that people would be able to easily search for on Google, that's relatively simple to remember and we could use as a mascot.

"And no-one else is using it, you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a name that no-one else is using!"

The aim is to open the Unicorn Cinema between 9am and 10pm with "occasional large movie releases" possibly requiring a midnight release.

"We intend to show everything from back catalogues to the latest movies and have launch nights, it'll be a fully-functioning cinema.

"A cinema is normally busy from Thursday to Sunday so during the day and Monday to Wednesday we're looking at how best to use it."

That could include films to appeal to parents with young children, older people, dementia-friendly screenings and screenings especially for people with autism.

"We're a community interest company which is not for profit so everything we make goes back into the cinema to make it better. We'll try everything to make it as inclusive as possible and to maximise the use of the building.

"We're open to film festivals, residential homes coming in en masse, community groups renting it out, award ceremonies or presentations, it's all being looked at."