Shetland Art’s cinema and arts venue, Mareel, has been listed at number 26 in Time Out’s list of “Planet Earth’s most heavenly picture houses and movie theatres”. Sitting beside such glittering venues as Pathé Tuschinski, Amsterdam and Le Grand Rex, Paris, Mareel is the only Scottish cinema to be featured and one of only a handful in the UK.
Visiting the UK’s most northerly cinema – on the same latitude as Helsinki – feels like an adventure in itself. Seals, otters, even the odd killer whale have been spotted through its quayside windows. Mareel is the Shetland word for phosphorescence, and you can sometimes spot it flickering on the sea outside too. But even they’re not enough to pull focus from the swish two-screen cinema and arts centre inside. This movie outpost in the small Shetland town of Lerwick somehow combines the buzz of cultural vibrancy with a haunting sensation of being right at the end of the world. (Phil de Semlyen, Time Out)