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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
'No frills' Easycinema shuts down
Easygroup founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou
Stelios Haji-Ioannou founded Easycinema three years ago
The company behind the Easyjet airline has closed its "no frills" cinema because of high rent levels.

Easycinema sold tickets in Milton Keynes for as little as 20p. The building has now been returned to rival chain and leaseholder Odeon.

Initially, film distributors refused to offer new films to Easycinema, claiming the pricing structure devalued them

A spokesman said Easycinema would "move away from bricks and mortar" and use its website for listings and DVD hire.

"Odeon became not only our competitors but our landlords," said James Rothnie, Easygroup's director of corporate affairs.

"Our lease ran out and with the costs we were going to incur continuing to run the cinema, we preferred to hand it back to Odeon.

"Running that cinema was a great brand-building exercise, and everyone has heard of us."

Easycinema launched three years ago as one of a number of businesses - such as car hire, bus journeys and a hotel - attempting to replicate the model of Easyjet, which started in 1995.

All promise a "no-frills" service with prices increasing as demand grows.

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