Hugh Grant says closure of Fulham Road Picturehouse ‘strangely unbearable’

British actor Hugh Grant has said the closure of Fulham Road Picturehouse is “strangely unbearable”.

The cinema, in south-west London, announced on social media in June that it had “made the tough decision” to close the venue from Thursday July 11.

The same day Bromley Picturehouse revealed it would close its doors on Thursday August 1.

In a post to X, formerly Twitter, Grant, 63, known for his roles in Notting Hill and Love Actually, said: “Fulham Rd cinema closing after 94 years.

“Strangely unbearable. Let’s all sit at home and watch ‘content’ on ‘streaming’. While scrolling. Miserable face emoji.”

The cinema, which originally opened in 1930 as the Forum Theatre, became the 26th cinema in the Picturehouse family in December 2019.

The company that owns the building has said it will try to protect the art deco facade and added that it was “exploring options for retaining some cinema use”.

A spokesperson for Martin’s Properties said: “Cineworld has now confirmed that it has terminated its lease at 142 Fulham Road and the last trading day will be Thursday July 11.

“Martin’s Properties has been a local property owner, operator and developer in Fulham and Chelsea since 1946 and has owned this building for the past 20 years.

“We are committed to securing a long-term future for this building and are already in discussions with officers at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant made his comments in a post on X (Ian West/PA)

“We are at the early stages of this exercise and will consult our neighbours and the wider community before bringing forward any proposals.

“However, among our priorities will be to preserve and protect the art deco façade of the building on Fulham Road, and we are also exploring options for retaining some cinema use.

“However, that is increasingly challenging as a consequence of the severe challenges faced by the UK cinema industry in recent years with reducing admissions, made worse at Fulham Road by increased local competition and a building that is unsuitable for a 21st century cinema.”

The cinema’s closure comes amid reports that Cineworld, Picturehouse Cinemas’ parent company, is planning to shut around a quarter of its UK cinemas in its latest restructuring.

The group is among a number of cinema firms to have been knocked by the growth of streaming services, delays to releases following actor and writer strikes, and the increased cost of living for customers.

The group was listed on the London Stock Exchange until last year, when it was taken over by investors and hedge funds after it had been hamstrung by its multibillion-pound debt pile.

The investors exchanged billions of pounds worth of debt for equity in the business, after the group also filed for bankruptcy protection in the US.