PUPILS from Prestwick Academy got the chance to get up close and personal with traditional film projection...thanks to the group aiming to bring the town's historic cinema back to life.

The Friends of the Broadway, who recently purchased the old Broadway Cinema and have big plans to restore it to its former glory, invited the students along to a 35-millimetre projection and design workshop at the venue.

They were members of the Broadway's Prestwick Academy Board of Directors, a committee established to engage with the young generations of the town and ensure the Broadway of the future brings their dreams of a cinema to life.

Ayr Advertiser: Broadway

In attendance were Rosie Wallbanks, Bex Beattie, Ivy McDonald, and Belle Wilson.

The session marked a historic day for the Broadway, and also for analogue film in Scotland.

Since digital projection was introduced worldwide in the early 2010s, the art of traditional projection has mostly been lost, and the trade of projectionists is rapidly disappearing.

The Broadway aims to reinvigorate the art with a new emphasis on analogue film, with capability to host 35mm, 16mm, and even 70mm screenings.

Ayr Advertiser: Broadway

The ability to show 35mm film has already been achieved, and the Broadway's team of projectionists now aim to pass on the skills of the past to future generations, and to bring a lost trade back to life.

Professor Guy Walker, chair and chief projectionist of the Friends of the Broadway, said: "There is a real nostalgia and romance to analogue film.

"Everything from Gone With The Wind to Harry Potter was presented to audiences on this classic forma. Film directors like Stephen Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick would write letters to projectionists to make sure their multi-million-dollar creations were presented to audiences perfectly every time.

"Projectionists were the last link in a creative chain that stretched all the way back to Hollywood itself.

"It was brilliant to have the Prestwick Academy pupils along for their, and perhaps the UK's, first lesson in 35mm projection for a very long time."

As well as the projection workshop, the pupils also engaged in a design workshop with members of the Broadway team.

The pupils shared in extensive detail their own visions for the Broadway's future, and what elements of bringing the Broadway back are most important to them.

Ayr Advertiser: Broadway

The Academy Board will continue for generations to come, with a new term bringing a new group of senior pupils together to form the next board.

Departing sixth-year captain at the Academy, Rosie Wallbanks, said: "It was such an amazing experience to be part of the projectionist workshop at the Broadway.

"Guy’s passion for his profession and enthusiasm to teach made the whole experience so exciting and inspiring. We learned so much about the importance of projectionists and how a great projectionist can make the cinema experience feel like journey to another world entirely.

"Learning how to use a 35mm projector was so interesting and it felt like we were reliving and making history all at once in our home town.

"I hope the Broadway run more hands-on workshops like this to continue to inspire people of all ages and teach them how a projectionist has the power to take cinema to a whole new level."

You can read more about the Broadway's projection journey by visiting friendsofthebroadwayprestwick.com.