Screen on the Hill taken over by Everyman
THE Everyman Cinema Club will now dominate the movie-going market in Hampstead after buying the 30-year-old Screen chain – including local rival The Screen on the Hill in Belsize Park
THE Everyman Cinema Club will now dominate the movie-going market in Hampstead after buying the 30-year-old Screen chain - including local rival The Screen on the Hill in Belsize Park.
Everyman owner Daniel Broch announced the takeover on Tuesday, and promised both cinemas were safe and would only be improved under their new management.
Owner of the Screen chain Romaine Hart, who created the business in the 1970s with Islington's infamous Screen on the Green, made the sale in order to retire.
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Ms Hart said: "We started this business back in 1970, with Screen on the Hill opening in 1977, so it was time to retire. I am sure the Everyman will do a very good job and will really bring the cinemas into the 21st century. Our two businesses and our customers are very similar so I don't think there will be too much of a difference."
Mr Broch said: "These cinemas will be even better than the Everyman in Hampstead as we have learned what works there and we will build on that.
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"There is tremendous excitement and enthusiasm from the staff involved. We will be keeping all the staff on and all the cinemas open. In the past the Everyman was in competition with the Screen on the Hill - now we will run them like partners, like two halves of the same space.
"They may show different films - they will compliment each other."
Work refurbishing the famous Screen cinemas is not planned until the end of this year and details have not yet been revealed.
One thing that does look set to change, though, is the ticket price. The Everyman's cheapest ticket is £12 whereas the Screen on the Hill charges £9 and £6.50 on Mondays and weekday matinees.
Mr Broch said: "You can't please everyone but we want the business to be part of the community. We want the cinemas to be somewhere you come for a coffee in the afternoon and then come back to see a film that evening. We are also moving forward with technology and want even more live screenings, hopefully with stand-up comedy later this year."
The Screen has been loved by movie goers and music fans alike since it started out showing films and hosting gigs.
It made its name with the legendary Sex Pistols all-nighter, which got them banned from performing elsewhere in London.
Celebrity fans include Janet Street-Porter, Vivienne Westwood and Quentin Tarantino who called the Screen on the Green "the coolest cinema in London".