As secretary of the management committee at Victoria Hall Trust, Keith Hart has been responsible for numerous improvements to Ellon’s Victoria Hall over the last 12 years – and he’s done brilliantly! Here, he tells us about the local venue’s history and how he doubled footfall over the last decade…

A key part of community life

“Erected for the public good and to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Victoria Hall is open to the people of Ellon and the surrounding districts for everything from film showings to wedding receptions to voting.

In terms of those behind the venue, there is a board of trustees and a management committee, plus two part-time hall keepers who look after bookings, accounts and cleaning services. I’ve been secretary for twelve years, tasked with the role of making the venue more accessible to those in our modern market town. And I’m delighted to report that footfall has gone from around 15,000 to an impressive 30,000 people per year in the past decade!

The building dates back to 1901 but the Victoria Hall Trust was formed in 1995 and the space opened in its current form in September 1996. Blessed with being in a central location and having a team that keeps it looking good inside and out, Victoria Hall really is a key part of community life. And it’s pivotal in uniting residents in Ellon.

Cinema, Events, Dance Classes and more…

There’s a timetable of regular events, such as dance and exercise classes (from Pilates to kickboxing) and the volunteer-run community cinema (complete with all the latest releases, nostalgic red seats and a tuck shop) is very popular.

We also host private parties, from kids’ birthdays to wedding receptions, as well as third-party music events. And, when needed, the hall is used by those who are hard of learning or need a place of safe refuge“

Keith Hart and his wife, Liz caretakers of Victoria Hall, Ellon
Keith and Liz run the cinema with the help of volunteers.

Image Credit: The Press & Journal 2022

I love #ellonlife because…

“Ellon is a lovely place to live and bring up children. It’s got a good community feel, and an abundance of idyllic walks, parks and shops for everyone. There are so many different types of venues available too, from restaurants and pubs to running classes and the golf club to, of course, the relaxed and friendly local cinema!”

Quickfire Q&A

What’s the best thing about the venue?
When lots of people turn up for films, especially those who come regularly and have their favourite seats. There’s a real element of the perfect touch here.

What’s the biggest challenge for the management committee?
Keeping the venue in tip-top condition so the people of Ellon and further afield continue to come in. We’re so grateful for the grants we’ve had over the years. The funds have allowed us to enhance the space – and the sophistication of the community cinema offering.

What’s next for Victoria Hall?
New windows! The Trust is hoping to fund this from accrued income so if the footfall remains this healthy, it’ll be possible over the next two or three years.

Nostalgic Seats at the Victoria Hall Cinema, Ellon
Sit back and relax in the nostalgic red seats

Image Credit: The Press & Journal 2022

Fact file

Victoria Hall Trust
Address: The Victoria Hall, Station Road, Ellon, AB41 9AY
Call: 01358 724545

Open daily from 9am until 9pm as required by various events.
For further details about the hall, its classes or the cinema, please visit the website above.

Keith Hart and his wife, Liz caretakers of Victoria Hall, Ellon
Films are projected on to the wall, with some movie nights attracting more than 200 people.

Image Credit: The Press & Journal, Kami Thomson / DCT Media 2022

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