Appeal to save Rome's Alcazar Cinema

Alcazar Cinema set to close on 31 January.

Italy's national cinema organisation has launched an appeal to save Rome's Alcazar Cinema from closure. Located in the Trastevere district, the Alcazar is set to close its doors on 31 January, after 28 years in business.

The Associazione Nazionale Autori Cinematografici (ANAC) has requested a meeting with Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini and Rome commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca in an attempt to avert the closure of the Alcazar which is known for its quality programme of films.

Since it opened in 1988, with a screening of The Dead Poets Society, the Alcazar broke new ground in Rome by becoming the city's first cinema to do away with intervals, introduce e-tickets and show films in their original language, including English. It has also been a prime mover behind the annual Le Vie del Cinema da Cannes a Roma which shows a selection of the best movies from Cannes in several Rome cinemas.

Announcing the decision to close "with great sorrow, sadness, regret and even anger", the cinema's operator Georgette Ranucci told Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera: "The operating costs of a single-screen cinema are not sustainable: €50,000 just for rent, staff, electricity, taxes, film rights – the same running costs as multiplex cinemas."

Ranucci invites old customers to join her in raising a toast to the "end of a beautiful adventure" at the little cinema on Via Cardinal Merry del Val on Sunday 31 January, between 20.00 and 21.00.

The Alcazar's closure reflects a national trend: over the last ten years 1,150 cinemas have closed across Italy, with the curtain coming down on 45 movie theatres in the capital alone.

See related article.