Cumbria

Richard E Grant and Eddie Izzard sign cinema petition

Penrith's Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema.
Image caption The cinema has been open for 100 years

Actor Richard E Grant and comedian Eddie Izzard have joined a campaign to try to save an under-threat cinema.

They are among 2,900 people who have signed a petition to save Penrith's Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema.

Although the cinema is profitable, the Bingo hall next door is not and its owners want to rent out both sites.

Izzard has links with the town and Grant's cult 1987 film Withnail and I was filmed in and around Penrith.

The company that owns the building, Graves (Cumberland), said the cinema will close 3 March.

A statement said the decision was not made "lightly" and thanked staff for their loyalty.

It said every effort had been made to make the bingo hall a success, but this had failed and had had a knock-on effect on the cinema.

'Much sadness'

Charles Thornton, from Eden's Tourist Information Centre, said he had contacted Grant asking for his support.

He said: "He has signed the petition and we are very grateful.

"The cinema is a Cumbrian institution and is a cultural asset to the town for not just its residents, but for the thousands of people who visit it every year."

A statement from Graves (Cumberland) said: "As a result of the bingo hall's closure and to ensure that the property remains a viable business, it is with much sadness that we also announce that the cinema, housed in the same building, will close on 3 March.

"We would like to thank all staff and customers for their loyalty over the years."

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