Bright future for Bath's Little Theatre cinema in new £47m deal
The boss of the Little Theatre Cinema says a multi-million pound buyout will only mean good things for the venue.
Manager Martin Jennings-Wright told the Chronicle the sale of Picturehouse, which the Bath cinema is part of, to Cineworld Group would give the premises a bright future.
The sale sees Picturehouse, which has 21 independent cinemas across the country, sold for £47.3 million to Cineworld along with its distribution arm Picturehouse Entertainment.
Mr Jennings-Wright said: “It’s really good for us. It means there will be a lot more investment to the place. We’ve been wanting to do things with the Little Theatre that we haven’t had the finances for.
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“We want to redevelop the top floor and have a cafe and lift access. We have unused space that would be ideal for a bar and cafe and meeting place.
“This sale gives us financial security. the other really good thing is it will not change our character or programming. It will still be a Picturehouse operation and the family who bought the building in 1936 will still own it.
“We now have the best of three worlds; local ownership, expertise of Picturehouse and the money of Cineworld.”
Cineworld said Picturehouse would operate as a separate business entity within the group and would continue to be run by the existing Picturehouse management team.
The company also made assurances that there would be no redundancies.
Chief executive of Cineworld, Stephen Wiener, said: “We are delighted to welcome Picturehouse to the Cineworld Group. This acquisition gives us an opportunity to accelerate our growth by reaching new audiences in a high value and growing part of the market.
“We recognise that Picturehouse is valued by its customers and we look forward to supporting the business through the next phase of its development.”