BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter Richard Curtis is the latest among the ranks of notable names, as well as more than 950 investors, to join in the campaign to secure the future of The Ultimate Picture Palace.
Our campaign, named “Lights, Community, Action!”, was launched on Friday 29th April to secure the cinemas future by giving the community the first option to buy the UPP through the purchase of community shares.
With just under three weeks to go, at the time of writing the campaign is 89% of the way there. If the campaign does not meet its target by Friday 1st July, the UPP will be sold on the open market with no guarantee that it will remain a cinema or open to the public.
Along with industry luminaries including Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, the CEO of BAFTA Pippa Harris, Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville, and Guardian chief film critic Peter Bradshaw who have already expressed their support for the campaign, Richard Curtis delighted the team this week by surprising everyone with a video made at his home.
The producer of films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill speaks about being a regular at the UPP while he was an English Language and Literature student at Christ Church, Oxford. He expresses his resulting passion for the UPP, and how it has played a part in his career citing that one of his early films was premiered there. He also speaks of the crucial influence small independent cinemas have in providing platforms for independent film.
“Receiving support from acclaimed filmmakers like Richard Curtis is particularly special to us because it’s a clear demonstration of the lasting and crucial role independent cinemas like ours can have on filmmakers throughout their careers. It really did make our day seeing this video come through and with just a few weeks to go it couldn’t have come at a better or more exciting time.” Micaela Tuckwell, Executive Director, The Ultimate Picture Palace