Edinburgh’s historic arthouse cinema, The Cameo, has earned a reprieve from plans to sell it. To coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the cinema being relaunched in its current format, it has been announced that owners, City Screen, have taken down the For Sale sign that has hung above its front door for months.
Recent plans to sell the site or to develop the cinema’s Screen One into a multi-use venue have been shelved, and, on the back of strong local support, City Screen have now committed to keeping The Cameo.
Says the cinema: “A process of discussion with the local community and interested parties is underway to create a plan for safeguarding the cinema’s future. With public
support, City Screen hopes to raise funds to implement a major refurbishment programme to improve Screen Two, the foyer and the toilets.”
Says Genni Poole, leader of the Save the Cameo campaign: “The campaign is pleased that The Cameo’s vulnerable state of limbo has been removed. We very much hope that its operators will prove their commitment to the long-term future of this very special cinema and build bridges with local people and cinema-goers who love The Cameo for the unique film-watching experience it offers. It has a special role in the community of Tollcross and residents have been tremendously supportive. We urge people to vote with their feet and choose The Cameo to see films, to ensure that its future is safeguarded amidst the fierce competition of the city’s multiplexes.”
Poole is the daughter of the late Jim Poole, who was instrumental in creating the cinema’s reputation as a leading arthouse cinema. The Cameo was founded in 1914 as the King’s Cinema. Its name change and role as arthouse cinema – Scotland’s first – came with its purchase in 1949 by Poole.