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Mareel no-go for 34 year old Trainspotter

| Written by Chris Cope

Steven McKimm was able to enjoy a few pints in the Mareel bar after he was refused entry to watch Trainspotting 2 the same night. Steven McKimm was able to enjoy a few pints in the Mareel bar after he was refused entry to watch Trainspotting 2 the same night. SHETLAND Arts has vigorously defended its ID policy after a 34 year old man unable to prove his age was refused entry to watch the 18-rated T2 Trainspotting film at the Mareel cinema on Thursday night.

However, Steven McKimm - who was sporting a weighty beard for the forthcoming Delting Up Helly Aa - was not challenged to prove his age when buying a pint of beer in the bar of the same venue just ten minutes later.

On Friday the arts development agency's general manager Graeme Howell said he was fully behind his staff who "did what we ask them to do".

McKimm, from Mossbank, went to see the film with his fiancée and her brothers and they were asked to show IDs by a staff member.

He didn't have any ID on him and they asked for refund at the reception but they were told to speak to the manager.

The group ended up speaking to an on-duty manager who told them they couldn't get a refund because they should have known that Mareel extends the 'Challenge 25' policy from alcohol to films.

"Initially I thought it was an absolute joke," McKimm said. "I said I'll just go for a pint then, and she said it wasn't her department.

"She watched me go into the bar and had a couple of pints, and they didn't even ask me for ID. Someone who witnessed the refusal served me in the bar."

McKimm said it was the first time he had gone to Mareel to watch a film and added that "without a doubt" he won't visit its cinema again.

"We came in from Mossbank, and we got some people to look after our 14 month old son, and our night out got cut short.

"A bit more common sense is needed. Everybody likes to do their job right, but that was just taking it to a whole new level."

Howell said it was up to the individual member of staff to decide whether they felt they needed to ID a customer or not.

Shetland Arts is strictly operating the Challenge 25 policy whereby anybody who is deemed to be under 25 can be asked to prove their age before being served.

Howell said: "With age restricted products it is a member of staff who is either allowing entry into the event or serving the age-restricted product. If that member of staff feels the person in question looks under 25 then we challenge for ID.

"If they don't have ID with them, how do we know how old they are?

"The staff did what we asked them to do. If we risk the cinema licence for Mareel because we let in underage people, then that would be a tragedy for the islands. The licence is part of the condition of us showing films."



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