Historic Filmhouse cinema up for sale as campaigners fight to save it

In October, more than 100 staff members were made immediately redundant.

Historic Filmhouse cinema in Edinburgh up for sale as campaigns to save it launched Lesley Martin

An iconic cinema in Edinburgh city centre has gone on sale on the open market after the charity behind its running collapsed into administration.

In October, the Centre for Moving Image (CMI) – the body behind the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) and two Filmhouse cinemas in the capital and Aberdeen – appointed administrators.

The move was blamed on a “perfect storm” of “sharply increasing costs” and reduced audiences following the pandemic and the rising cost of living.

More than 100 members of staff were made immediately redundant. 

The Lothian Road building is now on sale through Savills and is described as a “unique leisure-development opportunity”.

The brochure adds that the EIFF’s former headquarters is a Category B “sandstone former church building which has been converted to a cinema” and is “suited to a number of alternative uses, subject to obtaining the necessary consents”.

The 1830s cinema has gone up for sale on the open market.STV News

Also highlighted by selling agents, the 1830s former cinema is surrounded by a “vibrant mixed use area of Edinburgh with neighbouring uses including offices, residential, bar/restaurant, hotel and theatre”.

Last month, Edinburgh council bosses have been urged to explore “every possible avenue” to secure the future of the city’s Filmhouse and EIFF while campaigns have also been set up in a bid to save the iconic cinemas.

Campaigns have been set up to save the Filmhouses and EIFF.STV News

More than 22,000 people have already signed an online petition calling for the EIFF and the Filmhouse cinemas to be saved, while a welfare fund set up to support former employees has been set up with an aim of raising £50,000.

The amount is targeted towards staff who worked for less than two years so will not receive redundancy pay, staff members who have dependents to provide for and anyone else who finds themselves in precarious situations due to loss of income.

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