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New film about Curzon cinema Crossrail 2 battle

Liverpool filmmaker who fell in love with Curzon aims to stop Soho becoming a 'corporate kingdom'

22 September, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Charlie Granby and Leslie Hardcastle 

A YOUNG film-maker from Liverpool who fell in love with the Curzon Soho when living in the capital has made a film about the embattled cinema.

Charlie Granby, 22, gravitated towards the cinema and Soho while studying film but said she felt London was losing the character which makes it appealing to visitors in the first place.

“We don’t have anything like the Curzon in Liverpool,” Ms Granby said.

“We’re not so lucky. So when I found out about it being under threat, I just thought ‘this is such a special place’ I want to do something about it.”

A petition to save Shaftesbury Avenue’s arthouse cinema from being knocked down for a Crossrail 2 ticket hall has been signed by almost 50,000 people, and has been supported by the likes of Spanish film-maker Pedro Almodóvar, French actress Isabelle Huppert and most recently, New York film- maker Ira Sachs.

“I was amazed by how many people my age are not actually aware of the Curzon and how important it is,” Ms Granby said. “I wanted to do my bit to make people aware.”

She interviewed Curzon staff including chief executive Philip Knatchbull, as well as members of Save Soho including Tim Arnold and Colin Vaines, and Clare Lynch and Leslie Hard- castle from the Soho Society; and there are contributions from former Dr Who Matt and top British director Ben Wheatley.

Ms Granby said: “Transport for London wish to reduce congestion and increase tourism, but soon there will be nothing of interest left to see. London is gradually being chipped away at by developers. It is becoming a corporate kingdom, stripped of its distinct charm and proud culture. It absolutely needs to stop.”


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