Business Secretary prompts further discussion on Picturehouse

7 November, 2013 5 Comments

Business Secretary, Vince Cable has raised the fight to save Cambridge’s Arts Picturehouse with the new organisation launched to take over from the Competition Commission.

Dr Cable took the issue to the chairman and chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority after Cambridge MP, Julian Huppert called for his help in a bid to prevent the cinema being sold.

He told Julian in a letter that during the meeting he had “underlined the strong feeling in Cambridge” and the chairman and chief executive would update him on any new developments.

The Competition and Markets Authority will bring together the Competition Commission and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading to promote competition inside and outside the UK for the benefit of consumers. It will take over in April 2014.

Julian said: “I am encouraged that Dr Cable is doing everything in his power to promote further discussion on this issue. He knows how important the Arts Picturehouse is to Cambridge and has visited it himself.

“I want to see the Arts Picturehouse survive in Cambridge because it holds such a unique place in our city. It offers a very different programme to that provided by the larger cinemas and I am very concerned that if it is sold off we will lose that.”

Dr Cable told Julian that the Competition Commission sought the views of nearly 400,000 cinema goers before making its decision that Cineworld should sell one of its Cambridge cinemas.

“The CC deals with many difficult issues that are often very controversial, particularly when it affects local markets,” he said.


Leave a comment

  • Christine Tipple: November 13, 2013 5:13 pm

    If this cinema is closed the majority of people living in Cambridge will have to drive to see a film. As the traffic is impossible at certain times of the day ,we need a cinema to which we can walk or cycle. Thanks for all the effort put into saving this one , please continue

  • Mark Rainer: November 13, 2013 5:29 pm

    “…the Competition Commission sought the views of nearly 400,000 cinema goers before making its decision…”

    This tells us nothing. What was the question? How many people actually responded? What were their responses? Where were these people whose views were sought?

    I suppose this is what happens when we only have one Competition Commission.

  • elizabeth Budd: November 13, 2013 7:18 pm

    There was a good piece in The Telegraph nov 7th by their film critic, + a leader. Worth quoting.

    Meanwhile, what of the Hobson St venue?

  • Nici Clark: November 13, 2013 7:32 pm

    If you go into the Arts Cinema during an evening you will see what a huge demand there is for the films that are showing – the place is heaving! In my opinion it would be a tragedy to withdraw such a highly used recreation centre. Surely there must be a case for ensuring its survival given the high demand for the films that are shown.

  • Richard Folley: November 15, 2013 8:12 pm

    The Competition Commission has made a disastrous & ignorant decision but I fear that next April will be too late to change anything.

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