Public meeting into the future of the Phoenix Cinema sold out within days of announcement

Phoenix Cinema East Finchley

Phoenix Cinema East Finchley - Credit: Polly Hancock

Tickets for a public meeting into the future of the Phoenix Cinema have sold out within days of it being announced.

The independent cinema in East Finchley will be taken over by Curzon Cinemas at the beginning of November. Curzon will take over the ticketing arrangements for the historic cinema, while the Phoenix Cinema Trust will retain the freehold.

Hundreds of the free tickets were available for the meeting on Sunday lunchtime, but have now been taken up.

The announcement was made in September after months of talks. According to chair of the Phoenix Cinema Trust, James Kessler QC, the move will “secure the Phoenix’s long term future”.

“Curzon shares our vision and is the perfect team to deliver the Phoenix’s objects of promoting the art of film and maintaining our unique historic building,” he said.

Campaigners have raised concerns about the loss of the cinema’s identity, possible job cuts and potential changes of the programme. Curzon has pledged to keep the current programme of events and outreach activities.

Monty Python legend Michael Palin has spoken out with his concern about the move. He said he would be “very sorry to see the Phoenix lose its particular charm and independence”. Actor Daniel Mays has also tweeted that he “wholeheartedly supports the Phoenix remaining independent.”

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A petition against the move has now reached 4000 signatures.

The Ham&High will be at the meeting on Sunday afternoon. Follow events live on @HamandHigh, with a report available on Monday morning.