Richard E Grant fighting to save film set Bingo hall

January 13, 2011 - by Tom · Filed Under London Bingo Blog, London Bingo News Leave a Comment 

We have previously blogged about how much of a fan Richard E Grant is of Bingo and now he is proving his love for the game.The British actor is supporting a campaign to help save a bingo hall and cinema which is close to where the cult-film ‘Withnail and I’ was film nearly 25 years ago.

The cinema building is 100 years old and located in Lonsdale. Known locally as Alhambra, in the Cumbrian town of Penrith is be threatened with closure in just a few weeks as Graves, the business who owns it wish to sell the bingo hall attached to it as it’s making a loss.

Grant, along with the comedian Eddie Izzard, has signed an online petition. The petition currently has 3,000 signatories urging Graves to reconsider. But, currently the cinema is being scheduled to close on March 3rd.

The closest cinema to Penrith is located in Carlisle which is roughly 20 miles away, and every Sunday the Alhambra, which only has two screens accommodating 238 people, screens alternative films.

Richard E Grant has released a statement today claiming, “I hope the petition has a positive response, especially as this historic century-old cinema has been such a success, condemned to close due the failure of the bingo hall in the same building.”

Leader of the campaign, Dawn Stobbart, had said that this local cinema has been profitable and even doubled how many people have been attending film screenings in the last five years from 30,000 to 60,000. Although she did say the owners are extremely reasonable, however she did appeal to them to find a different solution.

Alan Towers, the Lonsdale boss, has claimed that he wanted to keep the cinema going but the landlords have had other ideas for this old building. He has described the whole period as ‘extremely sad’.

The cinema’s manager, Darren Horne, said: “People are far more angry than I thought they would be.

“We get stopped in the street by people asking what’s on at the cinema. It is those connections that have made the impact so harshly felt.”

Although the decision has been made with ‘sincere regret’ claims Graves, the bingo hall has been making losses for the past three years. With the increased popularity of online bingo and the smoking ban, the bingo hall has really been hit hard.

Related bingo news:

  1. Bingo hall fighting to open
  2. Bye Bye to another Bingo Hall
  3. Wetherspoon’s have axed their Bingo Hall plans
  4. Bingo Hall set for Conversion into Pub
  5. Bingo hall becomes church