The City of Edinburgh Council announced it will contribute £60,000 to Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Ltd supporting the return of the Edinburgh Filmhouse building at 88 Lothian Road.
The council said that following the collapse of Edinburgh Filmhouse’s parent charity, the Centre for Moving Image (CMI), in October 2022, it has been “working closely with key stakeholders to secure a future for cultural cinema in the capital.”
It said the option to support a renewed Filmhouse was included in a report agreed by the Culture and Communities Committee on May 11, 2023.
The council said it will “continue to monitor progress in the coming months and work with Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Ltd, Screen Scotland, the Scottish Government, and other partners.”
Culture and Communities Convener, Councillor Val Walker, said: “We’re delighted to see the progress of the fundraising campaign and to be in a position to contribute as a council.
“Crucially, this funding is in-budget and has been agreed by elected members. Alongside the wider stakeholder group, we look forward to our continued dialogue and working with Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Ltd.
“We’re committed to having a home for cultural cinema in the heart of the city and for the wider sector going forward. Edinburgh is rightly one of the great cultural cities of the world and cultural cinema is a key part of this landscape.”
The Directors of Filmhouse (Edinburgh) said: “This is fantastic news and everyone who has their heart in the campaign will want to thank the City of Edinburgh Council for this tangible commitment to opening the doors of Filmhouse once more.
“Filmhouse, as a cultural institution that celebrates the art of film alongside the other artforms supported in Edinburgh, aims to re-open as soon as the total necessary funds have been raised.
“We plan to provide the broad range of cultural cinema that the city is lacking just now, as well as to host the diverse group of specialist and community film festivals which have been missing their longstanding home on Lothian Road.
“The funds are needed for a full refurbishment of the cinemas and public areas, including the much-loved cafe-bar.”
Director of Screen Scotland David Smith said: “Screen Scotland and City of Edinburgh Council have worked together across the last year to support the return of the Filmhouse.
“It is a vital resource for Edinburgh and Scotland; providing a home for filmmakers, film lovers and film festivals, and a hub for film education. Its absence is keenly felt by us all, and Screen Scotland continues to work for its revival.
“Its return would signify not just the reopening of a cinema, but the return of a vital home for the artform.”