Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Cambridge MP Joins Fight To Save Arts Picturehouse

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has joined the fight to save the city’s Arts Picturehouse after fears that it could be sold.

Julian has written to the Competition Commission which is investigating the acquisition last year of the Picturehouse and 20 other cinemas across the UK by giant cinema group, Cineworld.

It is feared that Cineworld could be forced to sell Cambridge’s Arts Picturehouse along with other cinemas to lessen competition.

Julian told David Saunders, Chief Executive of the Competition Commission that he had been contacted by a number of constituents who were concerned about the Commission’s report into the issue.

“My understanding is that one of the possible remedies in the report is that the cinemas could be sold to a competing owner, which has led to the fear of the Arts Picturehouse being sold or closed among a number of people in Cambridge,” he said.

“Generations of Cambridge residents and students, including myself, have greatly valued the Picturehouse because it offers independent, art-house and foreign language films that are not often found in the programmes of the larger cinemas. It is also the only city centre cinema in Cambridge, which makes it an ideal location for the students at the two universities in the city to visit.”

Julian said later: “I am a huge fan of the Picturehouse and believe it would be a great loss to the city if it were changed or closed.

“It screens a range of films and programmes that are not offered by the big cinema chains and I am worried that if it were closed those events could be lost with it.

“I hope that the Competition Commission will give serious consideration to the concerns of cinemagoers across Cambridge when compiling its report.”