Henley's Regal cinema has been taken over as part of a £47.3million deal with Cineworld.
The cinema is one of 21 in the Picturehouse chain, with a combined number of 60 screens which will join Cineworld's portfolio, it was announced this morning.
Lyn Goleby, managing director of Picturehouse, said it would be ‘business as usual’ at the chain, with no job losses or programming changes expected. She added that the company would continue to operate as a separate business entity run by the existing management team, but that being part of Cineworld would be of benefit: “The opportunity to be part of a public company is great news for Picturehouse and our customers," she said.
"The unique character of Picturehouse cinemas will remain and our team will continue to bring the widest range of film to customers. This acquisition by Cineworld will accelerate the development of further Picturehouse cinemas around the country.”
Henley's Regal is well-loved for showing a combination of art-house and blockbuster films, and has broken its own box-office records following a closure for five days in August for refurbishment of all three screens.
It is the second cinema in Henley to bear the name. The old Regal Cinema closed in 1986 and remained empty until its demolition in 1993. Residents, including former Beatle George Harrison, campaigned for the cinema to return and when Waitrose built a supermarket on the site it provided a new one which opened in February 1997.
The cinema was operated by film distribution company Metro Tartan until December 2005 when the Regal joined the Picturehouse group of cinemas and was renamed the Regal Picturehouse. It has been sold by Arts Alliance Media (AAM), along with Picturehouse Entertainment, its distribution arm.