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Picturehouse responds to customers' takeover concerns

Twitter user @AlexWynick said Cineworld's Picturehouse takeover marked "a sad day for arts and indie films."

Picturehouse responded:

Chris Rand thought it was "a bit scary for us members."

Picturehouse replied:

Labour Councillor Jonathan Hawkes hoped that his local Picturehouse would "continue with indie/foreign language / original programming."

The company said:

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Cineworld buys Picturehouse cinema chain

The Ritzy cinema in Brixton, south London, is part of the Picturehouse cinema chain. Credit: PA

Art-house cinema chain Picturehouse was snapped up for £47.3 million today in a deal expected to net its founder a multimillion-pound fortune.

Cineworld's acquisition of Picturehouse will add 21 cinemas and 60 screens to the 80-strong group, including the Cameo in Edinburgh, Picturehouse in Stratford, east London, and the Phoenix in Oxford - the chain's founding cinema, bought in 1989.

Lyn Goleby, co-founder and managing director of Picturehouse, is set to pick up a hefty sum from the deal, as she was one of the company's major shareholders.

Cineworld said the deal will allow it to tap into "new audiences in a high value and growing part of the market".

Picturehouse, which has 750 staff, will continue to be run as a separate business within Cineworld and its existing management team will remain in place, according to Cineworld.

Cineworld banking on Bond for end of year boost

Cineworld, the UK's largest cinema operator, is banking on James Bond saving the day following a drop in audience figures through the first half of the year.

Box office admissions fell 0.8% in the 26 weeks to June 28, although a small rise in ticket prices kept revenues up during the period.

Daniel Craig will be making his third appearance as 007 in Skyfall. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

But Cineworld said the release of the latest Bond film Skyfall, The Hobbit and the final entry in the Twilight series should bring a strong end of year boost.

Comic-book adventure Avengers Assemble was the top performer during the first half of the year, grossing more than £51 million in the UK.