Battle Royal over Outlaw King

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Linlithgow may have proudly provided its locations but not one single person in the Burgh can see Outlaw King on the big screen it has emerged.

The Robert the Bruce epic which was filmed at Linlithgow Palace and St Michael’s Parish Church as locations, is no longer being shown at a single Scottish cinema.

Limited release dates in Glasgow and Edinburgh are now at an end - and it’s been confirmed that a plea to the distributors to screen the film in Bo’ness Hippodrome was ignored.

The historic cinema’s programming boss Alison Strauss confirmed: “We have been excluded from the opportunity to present this film in a theatrical setting.

“At a local level, many scenes were shot within three miles of us. There is a massive local interest in the film and audiences here do not understand why they are not being given the opportunity to see the film at their cinema.”

Meanwhile, Linlithgow historian Bruce Jamieson, who saw the shoot take place, also expressed his dismay.

He said: “I was disappointed to discover that the film was only available on Netflix, which I do not possess.

“I was looking forward to it – having witnessed through the window of the then local history library, a troupe of mounted, armour-clad knights coming down the Kirkgate and thinking I’d gone back in time!

“I’ll hopefully see it on my daughter’s television! I don’t know if there is any way of having a public showing.”

A spokesperson for Historic Environment Scotland whose sites were used, refused to be drawn on whether this was a missed opportunity and stressed that HES had no control over how the film was shown.

He said: “Netflix financed the film and decided to preview it in cinemas for a short period of time before it was available to all Netflix users.

“Productions such as this offer a great opportunity to showcase Scottish history and heritage, and open up our historic sites to a whole new audience.”

Netflix did not respond to our request for comment but there has been unexpected support for the Hippodrome from an independent film chain in England, which has succeeded in getting the rights to the film – Curzon Cinemas.

Its chief executive Philip Knatchbull said: “Film rights holders are free to release their films in the manner which they feel best suits them.

“However, we encourage them to see the value of the theatrical experience and likewise call on them to put customer choice to the forefront.

“Otherwise, it frustrates customers who don’t or can’t visit a cinema, and ultimately worsens the piracy problem.”