Looking back at the history of the 'North Star'

An evening of nostalgia is lined up on Thursday 12 December at the Shetland Museum and Archives with a special viewing of the documentary ‘North Star’ which takes a look back at the history of Lerwick’s original movie and music venue.

The documentary, which was created by local filmmaker JJ Jamieson, has only ever been screened once before, when it was a sell-out success at Screenplay in 2017. Described as ‘an affectionate look back at the cinema that used to stand on Harbour Street’ the 40-minute film documents the building’s 100-year history through a series of interviews and stories told by staff and customers.

The North Star evokes strong memories with the Shetland public and the film documents how the iconic Lerwick building has morphed through its different uses from film and music venue, to a Bingo hall and eventually a nightclub, before it was demolished for flats in 2012.

JJ Jamieson, a projectionist at Mareel, explained: “Initially I was inspired to make the film as I wanted to understand what being a projectionist would have been like back in the 1940s and 50s and capture the evolution of cinema as well as the lifespan of the building. From there I started gathering stills, audio footage and collecting stories from those who used the venue in its different forms, from its original purpose as a cinema in 1913 right through to its nightclub days.”

This will be a small, intimate screening of the film, with just 30 spaces available, and will take place in the archives searchroom at Shetland Museum and Archives on Thursday 12 December at 7.00pm. The documentary includes an introduction by film critic and regular visitor to Shetland Mark Kermode, and afterwards there will be an opportunity for questions and answers with JJ Jamieson.

Filmgoers and members of the public will be able to grab a festive bite to eat beforehand at Emma-Louise’s Coffee Shop, which will be open on Thursday evenings throughout December offering Christmas specials, including an afternoon tea menu with prosecco. There will also be late night shopping, late opening of Da Gadderie, and live music.

To book tickets for the film please visit

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