Curzon wins Knutsford cinema contract

Cheshire East Council has agreed a 25-year lease with cinema and film distribution company Curzon to run Knutsford Civic Centre and Studio Cinema.

Curzon Cinemas is based in London and manages six cinemas across the capital. It also owns film distribution firm Artificial Eye and has an exhibition business and 'on demand' online streaming service.

The firm employs 150 people and provides booking services for Manchester's city centre arts cinema, Cornerhouse.

The council ran a tendering process which drew 'a considerable number of expressions of interest' before a shortlist of three bidders was selected.

Cllr Jamie Macrae, cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: "This is great news for Knutsford and Cheshire East and a real opportunity to bring in fresh ideas to improve the venue and attract wider community involvement.

"We wanted any prospective partners to share our enthusiasm for securing the future of cinema in Knutsford – and as a Council we are confident we now have that. This is the best deal financially, for the people of Knutsford and it secures the future of this much-loved facility."

The 1930s cinema needed a £65,000 annual subsidy from the council to stay open until now. The council will receive an annual rent which will be reviewed every five years and Curzon will be responsible for any repairs.

Curzon will take over in October.

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