The current tenant of a Prestatyn cinema has put forward a proposal for a new operator – just nine months after taking it on.
Denbighshire County Council confirmed that they are “in discussion” with the existing leaseholder about a potential new operator. Rob Arthur became the new leaseholder of the Scala Cinema last July.
The new operator – believed to be Geoff Greaves, director of Merlin Cinemas – is expected to be at the helm from Friday. Those in the cinema industry have commented that Mr Greaves has “better access to big films” – The Jungle Book is to be shown this weekend.
Mr Arthur, ex-Apollo cinema chief, has been criticised by cinema-goers for not showing “blockbusters and top films” such as Kung Fu Panda 3 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Last September, Mr Arthur reassured cinema-goers that the future of the Scala cinema was “safe” after his complex in Thurso shut its doors. Mr Arthur took over the Scottish Highlands based cinema in 2012 and had been striving to find funds to keep the business afloat. The new operators of the complex in Thurso is Merlin Cinemas.
A spokesperson from Denbighshire County Council said:
“We are in discussion with the existing leaseholder about a potential new operator for the Scala and we are pleased with how the discussions are progressing.”
“Whilst we are the landlord, we have a strong interest in the Scala continuing to operate as a successful cinema and important facility in Prestatyn. We are more than happy to facilitate discussions with the current operator to allow that to continue”.
Trevor Harris, former owner of Oswestry’s Regal Cinema who writes a column for Screentrade magazine, said:
“I often speak with my film rental contacts and it is common knowledge that Geoff Greaves is to have the lease transferred over to him – as soon as Friday. He has got two Disney films already lined up. He is good – just watch what he does with the Scala.”
Dr James Davies, MP for Vale of Clwyd, said:
“The Scala is now an established and important facility in Prestatyn. I am pleased that it looks set to benefit from an improved offer, including better access to big films, starting with Jungle Book this weekend.”
Attempts have been made to contact Rob Arthur.
Source: Rhyl Journal News Article 12 April 2016 by Suzanne Jordan