Edinburgh Tattoo to stage cinema screenings for the first time

Organisers of the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo have unveiled plans to take the event into cinemas for the first time - with a pilot to be rolled out in Canada.

Friday, 20th October 2017, 3:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 3:09 am
BBC Scotland's coverage of the Tattoo will be beamed into 54 Canadian cinemas later this month.

The 105-minute BBC Scotland programme drawn from this year’s Edinburgh Castle esplanade spectacular will be shown in 54 theatres in the likes of Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.

It is hoped the partnership with Canadian entertainment giants Cineplex will boost interest in the event in the country, which is on a hit list of possible locations to take the Tattoo to in future.

Around 45,000 people have travelled from Canada to see the event in Edinburgh in the last decade, while nearly 50 different Canadian acts have appeared in the event since it was first staged in 1949.

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The Vancouver Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pipes and Drums have been among the bands to perform previously at the Tattoo.

The Tattoo has previously been staged in Australia and New Zealand, while a tour of China is already being planned for 2020.

The Tattoo’s cinema screenings - which will be staged across the country on 28 October - have been announced weeks after the National Theatre of Scotland revealed it would be taking a mobile cinema to remote parts of Scotland to show a specially-created film version of a new production.

Brigadier David Allfrey, chief executive and producer of the Tattoo, said: “Our Edinburgh audiences have been delighted with this year’s show, and the cinema broadcast should be as entertaining and inspirational.

“We are thrilled to be showcasing the Tattoo in cinemas in Canada. This is a new and exciting venture for us.

The Vancouver Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pipes and Drums have been among the bands to perform previously at the Tattoo.

“The combination of pageantry, military precision, innovation, a great storyline, huge music, world-class sound, lighting, projections, special effects and fireworks look incredible on the big screen.

“I hope the cinema audiences will be transported to Edinburgh Castle and the heart of our Show.

“Our eyes, ears and hearts are easily drawn towards Canada, not least as we host expert Canadian pipers, drummers, dancers and fiddlers in our cast and many friends each and every year.

“We have so much in common, not just because so many Scots have chosen to make Canada their home, but we also share a similar view of the world.

“Over the years, we’ve taken the Tattoo overseas - most recently in 2016 to huge acclaim in Australia and New Zealand. We are working towards a major visit to China in 2020, with aspirations for Canada in the future too.”

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of national tourism agency VisitScotland, said: “The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is one of the country’s signature events and a huge draw for visitors to the Capital.

“It’s great to hear that screenings of this year’s performance will be taking place across Canada. Between April last year and March we saw a 19 per cent increase in trips and a 40 per cent rise in spend among those coming from North America, who are showing an ever-growing appetite for our history, culture and stunning landscapes.

“It is hoped these screenings will encourage even more visitors from Canada to travel to Scotland and see this wonderful celebration of Scotland’s heritage.”