The team behind the Prince Charles Cinema, an independent theater in London’s West End, is set to launch a bid to revive Edinburgh Filmhouse, which closed its doors this month due to financial difficulties.
Scottish native Gregory Lynn, who has co-run the Prince Charles Cinema for 20 years, is leading the bid, which the group has said is fully costed, fully funded, and will be submitted Wednesday, 7 December.
The bid includes plans to buy the Filmhouse building and carry out extensive renovations following detailed surveys that discovered the building has fallen into substantial disrepair.
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The Prince Charles Cinema team said it has also held “positive conversations” with Edinburgh City Council, Creative Scotland, Screen Scotland, and the Edinburgh Film Guild, with whom they have shared their vision for the cinema. The team has also confirmed their intention for the cinema to once again host the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Last week, Screen Scotland announced that it has acquired the intellectual property rights to the Edinburgh International Film Festival and has launched an appraisal period to explore the possibilities of hosting a film festival in Edinburgh in 2023.
The festival, Edinburgh Filmhouse, and Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen all ceased trading in October after the trustees in charge of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), their governing body, appointed administrators.
A statement from the CMI said a “perfect storm” of rising costs and falling admissions numbers due to the pandemic had been exacerbated by the current cost of living crisis. All three institutions ceased trading immediately.
Announcing the bid, Scottish native Lynn said: “Having grown up and now living around Edinburgh, the Filmhouse has always been a hugely important cultural and community landmark for cinema lovers. Our bid is a robust, viable route to bring it back to life as a thriving independent cinema.”
He added: “As an experienced and successful independent cinema operator, we believe we are the best-qualified bidders with the funding, plan, and expertise to bring the Filmhouse back to its full glory, with top-notch facilities, a fantastic and highly varied program, full houses, and a secure future.”
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