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Last Updated:  Friday, 11 April, 2003, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Connery hails cinema's last stand
Sean Connery
Sir Sean Connery backed the campaign against closure
Hollywood star Sir Sean Connery has voiced his "delight" after Edinburgh's under-threat Odeon cinema was given an 11th hour stay of execution.

The James Bond actor is one of a group of film stars who fought to keep the Clerk Street filmhouse open after hearing of its planned closure.

The art deco venue was set to shut on 24 April, but new owners Duddingston House Properties decided to let it continue trading until at least October rather than mothball the building.

Odeon is leasing back the property while Duddingston finalises its plans for the site, which are rumoured to involve a retail and housing complex.

Sir Sean said he was "delighted" to hear that the closure had been put on hold.

"It's a fantastic film centre, full of character, with fond memories for me," said the actor, who was born in Edinburgh.

Backed calls

"The Odeon is exactly the kind of facility that Edinburgh should be building up - not shutting down.

"We brought the premiere of Entrapment to the Odeon in 1999 because of what it has to offer - that would all be lost, and Edinburgh would be the poorer, if it closed."

Fellow actors Dougray Scott and Brian Cox also backed calls to save the cinema, putting their signatures to a petition against the demolition.

The cinemas will still be closing but negotiations have led to conditions where Odeon is able to continue trading in the short term
Odeon spokeswoman
Local anti-closure campaigner Kevin Pringle said: "I'm determined to keep the Odeon as a cinema.

"Unless we save the Odeon, Edinburgh will lose a real economic asset, as well as an important local amenity."

The threatened Odeon cinema in Renfield Street, Glasgow, won a similar reprieve from Duddingston last week and has at least nine months to continue trading.

In both cases Odeon cited increased competition and falling audiences as the reasons behind the cinemas' sales.

Continue trading

An Odeon spokeswoman said: "The cinemas will still be closing but negotiations have led to conditions where Odeon is able to continue trading in the short term.

"Odeon Clerk Street will continue for a minimum of six months while trading at Odeon Renfield Street will continue for a minimum of nine."

Duddingston development director Charles Martin added: "It has been decided to let both Odeons continue trading.

"The plans for redevelopment are still in the very early stages and we are working on our options."


SEE ALSO:
Connery sues over failed film deal
11 Oct 02  |  Entertainment
Sir Sean 'gets better with age'
20 Sep 01  |  Scotland
Connery pledges tourism support
01 Apr 01  |  Entertainment


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