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Edinburgh's Cameo Cinema faces closure

Cameo-Screen1.jpgOnce again the historic cinema in Edinburgh The Cameo faces a bleak future. After being saved from sale to a non-film company once by public organised pressure, it seems it could be facing the same fate again as talks by the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) organisers and Edinburgh Council failed.

The original plans were showing that the amazing screen one was going to be ripped apart and made into a private screening room with a bar and screen on the other side - watching a film in a busy pub? The whole thing didn't make sense and seemed a first step to converting the whole building to a bar\club idea. The Edinburgh cinema fans got organised, pushed back, and the sale failed.

Since then the EIFF have been in talks with the Council to secure the cinema, if they provide £300,000 as a grant, they'll buy it and keep it running. The Council refused. From The Scotsman carry the story where Ginnie Atkinson, chief executive of the EIFF says:

"I need to know as soon as possible whether the council can offer us any assistance at all in terms of a potential buy-out of the cinema. That's not something we could afford on our own, particularly because the cinema needs around £300,000 worth of refurbishments."

However one council insider said: "The Cameo does not have any history of public subsidy and it is not as simple as buying the building and handing it over to the film festival. There has been a lot of scaremongering by Ginnie Atkinson about the future of the Cameo."

So what's the big fuss? Well Edinburgh is filled with multiplexes and there are only three non-multiplex cinemas left. The Filmhouse that hosts non-mainstream and foreign films, The Dominion which is still family run and plays studio films, and the Cameo which does a fine mix between the two. The Cameo is an old cinema with a huge heritage, and its main screen is just beautiful to be in, a tiny shot can be seen above. All anyone, other than the people actually running it and the public, seem to want to do is rip it apart and turn it into something else.

It would be such a shame to lose this cinema, particularly since it takes more audience than the multiscreen round the corner!



It is a lovely place, with charm, character, and is kept clean, unlike the multiplexes. The only downside is the seating, it shows its age there. I'm short, and I have trouble with the seat pitch.

It really would be a shame to see it go though.

I am glad to see that the original plans failed, but perhaps is this "out of the frying pan"?

I hope it is possible to save the Cameo - it is a great place, and has some real character - rare for a cinema!


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