In Paris, a cinema is about to be bought by its former squatters

The movie theater Parisian La Clef could soon reopen its doors. A purchase agreement valid for six months has just been signed, this Wednesday, April 26, 2023, by the cinema defense collective “La Clef Revival” to save the building. The agreement before the notary includes the purchase of premises with an area of ​​800 m² for 2.9 million euros, against 4.2 million at the start.

To complete a guaranteed bank loan, the collective has also relaunched a call for funds to raise 600,000 euros, in the hope of reopening the cinema in January 2024. Already 200,000 euros have been collected from the general public thanks to a fundraising campaign . In addition, patrons, including personalities of the 7th art such as Olivier Assayas, Agnès Jaoui and Leos Carax, had already donated 600,000 euros.

For the collective,it’s the start of the countdown“.”The endowment fund must raise the entire sum before October 26, 2023 to make this neighborhood cinema a common good, which will allow it to be permanently removed from speculative pressures..” With a view to finalizing the takeover and reopening, the collective has reached an agreement with the National Cinema Center (CNC) to set up a free-price ticket office. Cinema enthusiasts are also imagining for the future from the site daily screenings, image education workshops, an associative café and a screenwriting residency.

A famous American filmmaker defends the room

The arthouse cinema is the last Parisian associative hall. Between September 2019 and March 2022, it had been occupied by this collective of citizens and cinephiles, finally expelled, who had opposed a real estate transaction which would have led to its disappearance. The Caisses d’Épargne works council owns the buildings.

The director of “Taxi Driver”, Martin Scorsese, who also financially supports the project to reopen the cinema, published a video call on April 26 to collect donations. “In recent years, La Clef has been occupied by people devoted to the art of cinema. The owners want to sell it without worrying too much about what will become of this beloved hall at a time when it is increasingly difficult for cinemas to survive. To all members of La Clef Revival, know that the filmmakers here at UNITED STATESsupport you“, did he declare.

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