Cineworld snaps up Picturehouse

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The Independent Online

The movie giant Cineworld has swallowed up the arthouse group Picturehouse, making its co-founder Lyn Goleby a multimillionaire.

Cineworld spent £47.3m buying Picturehouse, which has 21 sites, including Brixton's Ritzy, Aberdeen's Belmont and Southampton's Harbour Lights.

Steve Wiener, Cineworld's chief executive, promised Cineworld Picturehouse's managers were staying on and would retain "complete autonomy on film programming".

"I don't want to make any changes. It's a profitable organisation and I want to leave it alone and let it continue making a profit and entertaining the public," he said. "The demographic profile of people that go to the cinema is getting older. They like arthouse cinemas, and we wanted to have a piece of that," he said

Ms Goleby, who founded the chain with Tony Jones in 1989, is reinvesting £1m in the £16m share placing Cineworld is using to fund the deal. Other shareholders include Arts Alliance. Shares in Cineworld rose 8.75p to 255p.