Jobs on the line as Ripon's Curzon cinema could be set to close
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A source claims staff have been told the cinema is set to close and all workers could be made redundant from the end of this month.
The potential closure appears to be a result of unsuccessful rent negotiations between Curzon Cinemas and their landlords - but conversations are ongoing and the parties have said they are working to find a solution.
They had recently agreed a new five-year extension on the cinema’s lease, leaving staff confused and devastated about the news.
Jake Garriock, Head of Distribution Strategy and Group Publicity at Curzon, said: “Due to the restrictions required to make a cinema Covid-secure, it is not currently viable to reopen our Ripon venue and we are unable to put a timeframe on when it will be.
“We are in negotiations with the landlord to find a solution. Sadly, that has meant we have had to start redundancy consultations with the venue staff, but these discussions are ongoing, and no formal decision has yet been made.”
Landlord Martin Sterne, director at Sterne Properties, added: "Following the upheaval caused by Covid, the majority of UK cinemas have sadly had to close their doors.This is the case with our much loved Ripon venue.
"However, they still have an obligation to their lease of which there is a term in excess of 17 years still outstanding. Meanwhile, and perhaps by way of a temporary measure, we are exploring alternative ways of keeping the cinema viable/operating since it provides a very important cultural part of our city and acts as a draw to bring in the public which benefits the local economy."
The news comes after Cineworld confirmed it would close all of its cinemas from Thursday, October 8, after struggling throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Curzon has 13 cinemas across the UK, 12 of which have already reopened since the pandemic forced closure.
Ripon, Curzon’s most northerly cinema, has around seven members of staff, some of whom have been working there since the day it opened.