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Filmhouse Edinburgh
Photograph: Centre for Moving Image

Two of the UK’s most famous indie cinemas are closing for good

The charity behind the Edinburgh Film Festival has gone into administration

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

Two of Scotland’s most beloved cinemas – Aberdeen’s Belmont Filmhouse and Edinburgh’s Filmhouse – are closing.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), the UK’s oldest continuously-running film fest, has also ceased trading after the charity behind all three, the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), went into administration. 

‘Unfortunately, the combination of sharply increasing energy and other costs, together with the lasting impacts of the pandemic and the rapidly emerging cost-of-living crisis affecting cinema attendances means that we have had no other option but to appoint administrators,’ reads a statement by CMI’s board.

According to the charity, audience figures at its two cinemas are down by 50 percent on pre-Covid levels.

The administrators are actively looking for buyers for the assets, including the EIFF brand and the historic Edinburgh Filmhouse building.

It’s awful news for the 102 employees who have lost their jobs, as well as cinephiles across the country. Belmont Filmhouse is Aberdeen’s only indie cinema, screening movies for as little as a fiver in a building that’s been showing motion pictures since 1898.

Edinburgh’s Filmhouse, meanwhile, is another three-screen cinema with a well-earned rep for vibrant programming and smart curation. Both cinemas feature prominently on Time Out’s list of the 50 best cinemas in the UK and Ireland.

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