Britain

Cinema chain reinstates gangland film with ‘increased security’

Showcase Cinemas has reversed its decision to cancel all screenings of the gangland film Blue Story.

The chain said it was reinstating the London street war drama with extra security after "careful consideration and discussions with the distributor", just hours after it was pulled from its multiplexes across the country.

Showcase had announced it would be following rival firm Vue in banning the film, with the latter having revealed more than a dozen of its cinemas had faced problems linked to its release.

In an updated statement released on Monday night, Showcase said: "We took the decision to temporarily suspend screenings of Blue Story to enable us to assess the situation.

Image: Director and writer Andrew Onwubolu, known as Rapman, has defended the film

"After careful consideration and discussions with the distributor in the last 24 hours, we have come up with a plan to reinstate screenings supported with increased security protocols and will be doing so from this evening."

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The statement added that the safety of guests and staff was the "absolute priority", with concerns around the film having arisen following reports of young people with machetes at a Vue cinema in Birmingham on Saturday.

Vue later announced that it was withdrawing the film, despite having implemented increased security, reducing the number of showings and completely removing late-night screenings.

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Seven police officers were injured in the mass brawl on Saturday evening, which was thought to involve 100 people close to the cinema, and five teenagers were arrested – including a 13-year-old girl.

West Midlands Police said it made no recommendations about pulling the 15-rated film, which is centred on two friends from different areas of south London who end up on rival sides of a gang war.

Undated handout file videograb showing police officers inside the Star City cinema in Birmingham after a large brawl broke out resulting in a number of police officers being assaulted. Showcase Cinema has become the second cinema chain to withdraw gang film Blue Story from its venues after the mass brawl at a screening in Birmingham. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday November 25, 2019. Showcase Cinemas has now pulled the film from the listings of its 21 outlets across the UK. See PA story POLICE Star
Image: The film remains banned from Vue cinemas following an incident near one of its multiplexes in Birmingham

Other cinema chains including Odeon and Cineworld have continued to show the film despite the controversy, and the companies behind it have insisted it deserves to be seen.

Producer BBC Films described it as an "outstanding, critically acclaimed debut feature which powerfully depicts the futility of gang violence", while distributor Paramount Pictures said it was "an important film".

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Director and writer Andrew Onwubolu, who is known as Rapman, also spoke out on Instagram on Sunday.

He said the incident in Birmingham was "unfortunate", but said he hoped it would not reflect on the film.

"Sending love to all those involved in yesterday's violence at Star City in Birmingham," heRead More – Source