Oxford’s Oldest Cinema Put Up For Sale to the Community

312 000 shares of Oxford’s oldest independent cinema are up for sale for the locals to buy in a bid to run it as a cultural asset. 

Ultimate Picture Palace Oxford

312,000 shares of Oxford’s oldest and only independent cinema are up for sale with the hope of running the 111 year-old venue as a community asset. 

We’ve all wanted to own our cinema, right? Unlimited popcorn, screening the best films, being able to tell noisy patrons to be quiet, it’s the dream. 

For film fans in Oxford, they could have a small slice of that dream as shares of Ultimate Picture Palace are available to buy this Friday, April 29th. 

The 111 year-old cinema has been up for sale since 2018, following the death of the previous owner. Shares are set to go for £1 each, with investors required to buy at least 50, but there is a deal for buyers between the ages of 16-29. They can buy a minimum of 30 shares for a discounted price, in an attempt to entice younger buyers keen on getting their foot in the door of the cinema-owning market. The aim is to raise £312,575 through such community shares.

Ultimate Palace Cinema, Oxford

“To lose the UPP would be like losing a very big part of the soul of Cowley Road and what makes it special to live in Oxford,” said Vez Hopper, the campaign manager for Own the UPP. 

Indeed, big chains such as Cineworld and Vue tend to dominate the cinema market, leaving smaller, independent venues struggling for cash flow as crowds are drawn to the cheap seats and massive tubs of popcorn offered by the big chains. 

But venues such as UPP are vital for cinema-goers. Smaller venues often exhibit smaller films and if the venues disappear, so does the chance to see some real gems. As much as we all love to watch the latest Marvel romp, sometimes you’re just in the mood for some Apichatpong Weerasethakul or Kelly Reichardt. 

Shares for the UPP go on sale on Friday April 29th. 

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