Palma.—The British community was left stunned by the news that the Renoir Cinema is going to be closing its doors for good between May 10 and 15 after eight years of losing money.

This winter, the cinema screened all of the top, Oscar winning and nominated films in English and is still showing three extremely popular films in English.

But, manager Julian Riutort told the Bulletin yesterday that the Renoir chain, which has other complexes dedicated to independent, art house organic version films in the mainland, can no longer afford to keep the complexes in Palma and Zaragoza going. “They have been pumping in their own money over the past few years to keep the cinema going, but under the current financial climate, they can not afford to continue. “It was with great sadness that the decision was taken and it has been the British community which has kept us going for many years and I apologise for the closure but also want to thank them for all their support over the years. “Many I've got to know very well and some just come, what ever is screening, to watch a film in English while there were little clubs which would always come to the cinema. “But, while the British market stood firm, it was the Spanish market which gradually shrank over the past few years and we can no longer afford to carry on. “And, like all other cinemas, we're facing growing competition from the digital age and downloads and the mulit-national distributors are getting more powerful. “This very much is an end of era for Majorca and the British community in particular. “But, over the next year or so, other cinemas will close or down size in Majorca as habits change and the recession continues. “At the moment, for example, it's a choice between going for a pizza or going to the cinema, in the end many choose a pizza, few people can afford both at the moment,” he added. “Myself, the employees and the company are very sorry,” he added.
But all is not lost “Cinema has been my life and I wanted to retire working in the industry.” Yesterday, Ray Fleming, the Bulletin's film and arts critic said; “The end of films in English at the Renoir Cinema is a blow to the quality of cultural and entertainment life on Majorca. “The Renoir usually showed the Bafta and Oscar nominations in advance of voting and often picked the winner -- as with this year's The Artist for instance. But it also discovered less publicised films from sources other than America and Britain which threw light on life elsewhere. “We must thank the Renoir management for keeping going for so long despite losses and a fickle public, both local and foreign, who failed to give consistent support. “I have been at screenings when only two or three others were present. Yet at a recent showing of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel the cinema was almost full. Is there no chance of a smaller cinema taking on the so-called ‘art house' role of the Renoir, perhaps on a subscription basis?” But, there was some good news last night.
Joan Salas, the manager of the Porto Pi cinema complex said that they are set to jump in and fill the void left in the market by the closure of the Renoir.

Between now and 2014, all of the complex's cinema will be reformed to screen digital formal films and he suggested that as many as three of the complex's cinemas could be set aside for original version films.

Porto Pi does already shows blockbuster movies in English and Joan Salas is poised to step in and save the day once the Renoir closes next month.


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