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Stay Home and Watch ‘Content’ While Scrolling

Hugh Grant has voiced his discontent regarding the imminent closure of his local Picturehouse Cinema in southwest London. This venue has been home to a cinema for nearly a hundred years, but its screens will soon go dark.

Picturehouse, the boutique cinema division of troubled global exhibitor Cineworld, announced the closure of its Fulham Road cinema last month on July 11.

Grant, a resident close to the cinema and often spotted by paparazzi on his Vespa, expressed his sadness over the news.

“Fulham Rd cinema closing after 94 years. Strangely unbearable. Let’s all sit at home and watch ‘content’ on ‘streaming’. While scrolling. Miserable face emoji,” the ‘Wonka’ and ‘Love Actually’ actor wrote on his @HackedOffHugh X account.

While best known for his work in feature films, Grant has also appeared in several streaming shows and movies, such as HBO’s ‘The Undoing’ and ‘The Regime’ as well as Netflix’s ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’.

A host of local film and TV personalities joined Grant in lamenting the closure in the comments section of his post, including actors James Dreyfus (‘House of the Dragon’) and Michael Warburton (‘Emmerdale’ and ‘Coronation Street’). Warburton was recently seen in Netflix’s ‘The Strays’. Broadcaster Terry Christian also weighed in.

“Lived around the corner from a cinema as a kid – like something magic,” wrote Christian. “We used to walk around and look at the stills of what was showing and imagine. Should protect them like the French do.”

“Once these palaces are gone, they don’t come back people!,” added Warburton.

The Fulham Road cinema is one of three Picturehouse theaters scheduled to close in the coming weeks. The Stratford East theatre in east London will close on July 28, and Bromley Picturehouse theater in outer London will shut its doors on August 1.

These closures come as parent company Cineworld attempts to restructure its UK operations. The restructuring effort is supported by AlixPartners, the firm that helped Cineworld navigate Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. following pandemic-related losses.

According to a recent Sky News report, Cineworld is looking to close around a quarter of its 100 UK cinemas and renegotiate rental agreements for about 50 sites.

The future of the Picturehouse Fulham Road site, located in the upscale Boltons Conservation area, remains uncertain for now.

Martin’s Properties, which owns the Fulham Road Picturehouse building, informed Deadline in June that it was in the early stages of a consultation process with the local council and community.

“Among our priorities will be to preserve and protect the Art Deco façade of the building on Fulham Road, and we are also exploring options for retaining some cinema use,” stated the company.


Source: Deadline, Sky News