Dismore urges Phoenix Cinema re-think

Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore has written to the board of trustees of the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley urging them to reconsider plans for a partnership with Curzon.

The plans would see Curzon Cinemas take over the running of the Phoenix, and the name of the cinema re-branded to “Curzon Phoenix Cinema”. Proponents of the plan say it will safeguard the cinema’s finances and enable the cinema to pay London Living Wage.

However, opponents of the plan have cited the loss of independence and lack of consultation.

Mr Dismore said:

‘The Phoenix Cinema is an icon of East Finchley, and the whole community rose as one to save it over 30 years ago. The same effort is needed today, thanks to the challenges of local competition, internet streaming services and increasing costs. There is a real pride in the Phoenix being the oldest independent cinema in London, and local residents are deeply opposed to the plans.

I am urging the Board of Trustees to delay their decision, consult further with the public and staff, and see if there is a viable alternative business model that can be explored. A rushed decision to go ahead with this scheme is not in the best interest of the cinema or local community and will do lasting damage to the reputation of the cinema.’