Edinburgh Filmhouse: Former Cinema Building Sold For $3.28 Million

The building that previously housed Edinburgh’s popular Filmhouse Cinema has been sold for £2.65 million ($3.28 million).

The identity of the buyer has not been confirmed, but local media reports suggest the building has been sold to the pub operator Caledonian Heritable, which owns The Dome, Ryan’s Bar and the Theatre Royal in Edinburgh. The company was not available for comment on the matter.

The Filmhouse building sits on Lothian Road in central Edinburgh and was put on the market in November when the trustees in charge of the Centre for the Moving Image, the charity behind the Edinburgh International Film Festival and a second Filmhouse location in Aberdeen, appointed administrators.

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A statement from CMI at the time said a “perfect storm” of rising costs and falling admissions numbers due to the pandemic had been exacerbated by the current cost-of-living crisis. All three institutions ceased trading immediately, and staff members were made redundant.

A total of 16 bids were made to purchase the Filmhouse property, including two that would have seen the building reopen as a cinema. One of these bids included a proposal from Gregory Lynn, the Scottish owner of the Prince Charles Cinema in London’s West End. A group of former employees of the cinema also failed to raise enough money to make a bid.

It had been reported by local press that administrators intended to sell to the highest bidder, and a preferred proposal had come in from Signature Pub Group, one of Edinburgh’s biggest hospitality businesses, who drafted plans to turn the cinema into a film-themed restaurant. Signature later pulled its bid after it failed to obtain an alcohol license for the building.

The proposed sale of the Filmhouse building attracted the attention of several industry figures, including Oscar winner Tilda Swinton.

In a rare public statement handed to Deadline, Swinton, who lives in Nairn, Scotland, described Filmhouse Cinema as an “invaluable cultural resource” for the city of Edinburgh that deserves to be “in the hands of legitimate cineastes who will nurture its future and the legacy of cultural cinema in Edinburgh and beyond.”

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