Blue Story: Vue boss plans to ‘beef up security’ and restart screenings of banned film after machete brawl

Gang drama’s writer-director Rapman has welcomed the move

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 28 November 2019 10:54
Blue Story - Trailer

The chief executive of Vue cinemas, Tim Richards, has said he plans to resume screenings of banned film Blue Story by the weekend.

Blue Story was removed from the company’s venues after a mass brawl broke out at Birmingham Star City, involving youths armed with machetes.

Vue said there had been 25 serious incidents in 16 of its cinemas.

The plan to restart screenings of Blue Story comes after the film’s writer-director Rapman questioned whether there were "hidden reasons" for the ban.

He told the BBC: “What's the owner like? Has he got an issue with young urban youth? Is he prejudiced?

"Does he believe that this film brings a certain type? Is there a colour thing?"

A previous statement from Vue said the decision to pull Blue Story from its venues was "categorically not" related to race.

Richards then told the BBC: "Right now we are looking at trying to get that movie back onto our screens by the weekend and possibly, if we can, to accelerate that."

"Our plans right now are to look at the timings and look at who's buying the tickets, and we're going to be beefing up security where we've had problems.

"There will be one or two cinemas, like Birmingham, where it will be very difficult to justify screening it again there."

About 100 people were involved in the incident at Star City, which left seven officers with minor facial injuries, West Midlands Police said.

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A 13-year-old girl was among the five teenagers initially arrested following the disorder, which is thought to have spilled out into an area of the cinema where parents and children were queueing to watch Frozen 2.

Rapman, real name Andrew Onwubolu, welcomed Vue's decision and thanked fans for all of their “cries for justice” to get the film back on screens.

Blue Story is a London-set gangland drama about two friends from rival postcodes who are caught in a feud.

The film, which stars Top Boy actor Michael Ward, is rated 15 and includes “very strong language, strong violence, threat, sex, drug misuse”.

Another cinema chain that had pulled the film, Showcase, reinstated screenings on Monday night after "careful consideration and discussions with the distributor".

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