Edinburgh Filmhouse: Succession star Brian Cox issues appeal for ‘extraordinary’ cinema to be saved

Succession star Brian Cox has launched a video appeal to help rescue the “extraordinary” Filmhouse cinema in Edinburgh.

Brian Cox has thrown his weight behind efforts to save the Filmhouse cinema in Edinburgh.
Brian Cox has thrown his weight behind efforts to save the Filmhouse cinema in Edinburgh.

The Scottish stage-and-screen veteran has urged people to support a £2 million crowdfunding appeal to buy the boarded-up building, which he described as “an institution that needs to be saved”.

The Dundee-born actor has become the latest high-profile figure to back efforts to save the Filmhouse after its operator collapsed into administration last month. The Lothian Road landmark, which has been home to the Filmhouse since 1978, has also been the headquarters of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), which dates back to 1947.

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Both were run by the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), an arts charity that blamed a “perfect storm of external factors” for pulling the plug at the start of October, with the loss of 107 jobs at the Filmhouse and the EIFF, which immediately ceased trading.

Campaigners behind the crowdfunding appeal say the loss of the building, which has been put on the open market by the CMI's administrators, would be “catastrophic” for the provision of “cultural cinema” in the city and would hamper efforts to revive the film festival.

Writing on his Instagram page, Cox said: “Dear friends and hopefully contributors. I urge you to consider helping to avoid the loss of the Edinburgh Filmhouse. It is an institution that needs to be saved.”

Speaking in the video, he said: “This is an appeal on behalf of the Edinburgh Filmhouse. It has been in existence for quite a long time in Edinburgh. It is a needed, vital and necessary resource, particularly for the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

“If we lose the Filmhouse, we will lose a great source of our cultural life in Scotland. Not only does the Filmhouse play films in the most extraordinary, wonderful circumstances, but it also serves as a resource for young people trying to learn about film, children particularly.

Brian Cox was interviewed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

“There is a crowdfunder which I will contribute to myself. I am asking people to put their hands in their pockets – it doesn’t matter how little or how much – and try and save the Filmhouse.

"It is so important, not only to Edinburgh, but also to the cultural life of Scotland, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which is crucial.”

Jack Lowden, Sam Heughan, Dougray Scott and Peter Capaldi were among other stars to support the campaign to bring the Filmhouse and the festival back to life, backing the bid at the BAFTA Scotland Awards ceremony in Glasgow earlier this month.

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Heughan said at the time: “I was brought up in Edinburgh. As a teenager, I used to go to the Filmhouse a lot. I have a very personal relationship to the place.

“I actually enquired about it myself after it went into administration. I thought it would be a good business prospect. It’s tough, it needs a whole group of people. It needs everyone in Scotland to get behind it, but I think they will.”

Scot Squad star Docherty said: “I hope the Filmhouse can be saved and that someone can come in and turn it around. I grew up in Edinburgh and that is where I went every week. It would be a real shame if it was lost.”



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