We already know that the much-loved Curzon Soho cinema in the West End is under threat from the next stage of the Crossrail project – a threat which has seen many well-known fans, including the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar and the French actor Isabelle Huppert, put their names to a campaign to save the venue.
Now it's emerged that the Curzon Soho's sister venue, the Curzon Mayfair, is also at risk of closure because a row is brewing between the venue and the building's landlord over noise pollution.
Could we be looking at a future where both the Curzon Soho and Curzon Mayfair, two of London's best cinemas, disappear from the city completely?
According to the Evening Standard, a legal row is brewing between the Curzon Mayfair and a property company which is converting office space above the cinema into flats. The property company is demanding that Curzon Cinemas pay £500,000 to soundproof their cinemas – a figure they can't afford. Even if they could afford it, a spokesperson for the Curzon has pointed out that the auditorium is Grade II-listed and so Curzon wouldn't be allowed to do the work anyway.
Escalating legal action now means that the Curzon Mayfair may have to give up their lease and leave the building if they don't comply with the demand.
Luckily, the Curzons know how to put up a fight. Ever since the Curzon Soho was mentioned in plans for Crossrail 2 in early 2015 – plans which would mean the Curzon Soho making way for a new ticketing hall for an expanded Tottenham Court Road station – the cinema has been running a lively campaign to defend itself from the bulldozers.
If the future continues to look bleak for the Curzon Mayfair, we think this cinema is worth fighting for.
It's a gorgeous venue, one of the best in town, and we're proud of having hosted two Time Out galas at the London Film Festival there, one for 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' in 2011 and one for 'Amour' in 2012. It's a rare cultural beacon in the middle of super-rich Mayfair, and we can even imagine these new apartments lying empty, once bought by investors as investments, not homes.
If anyone needs to pay for this soundproofing work, let it be the responsibility of commercial property developers, not a cultural organisation that relies on London film-goers to survive.
Save the Curzon Soho? It's time to save the Curzons!