A legal tussle is engaged between this independent room founded in 1912 and the company that owns the building it occupies. The regulars and the inhabitants of the district are mobilizing to save her.
Founded in 1912, the Luminor Hôtel de Ville, the last cinema of the IVe arrondissement of Paris, could soon close its doors. In a press release published on its social networks on September 21, the cinema announces that SOFRA, the real estate company which owns the premises, “wishes to expel (the) cinema”.
The Luminor affirms that this company has been multiplying for several months the "assaults" to evict the cinema from its building in the Marais in order to set up offices there. Contacted by us, this lessor has not yet responded to our requests. “Despite all our conciliation proposals and the perfect respect of our obligations as tenants, the owners have carried out their threats in court”, explain the persons in charge of the cinema. Arrived at the end of its lease, the Luminor finds itself therefore pushed out the door although it has always been able to pay its rent -“extremely expensive”according to François Yon, producer and one of the professionals who took over the establishment in 2016. And this, even in times of health crisis when cinemas were in great difficulty.
Angry, the managers of the establishment are also incomprehensible to see a cultural place threatened in this way. "We really want to defend ourselves," assures François Yon.
Faced with SOFRA's decision to take the case to court, Luminor launched a petition to protest the closure of "the only and last cinema in the Marais". In a few hours, she collected more than 2000 signatures, a sign of the establishment's popularity.
Becoming the Latina in 1984, then the New Latina in 2008, the Luminor has been able to reinvent itself over the years to remain dynamic and offer an ever more varied program. Renovated in 2016 and adorned with a new facade and a golden hall, the cinema has been an emblematic place in the center of Paris since 1912. It is also an important educational space for neighboring schools since "schoolchildren represent a significant part of its clientele" explains François Yon who recounts having received the visit of many cinema regulars this Thursday. Also on Twitter, moviegoers and neighborhood residents support Luminor.
Beyond the excitement about this room, some Internet users share their concern for independent cinemas in general. "We must not procrastinate: the gradual disappearance of all independent Parisian cinemas is very worrying" can we read for example. "One day we will only have the choice between UGC or Pathé"writes another cinephile on Twitter.
“What we want is for people to mobilize, for elected officials to play their role”, continues François Yon. In addition to the petition, the Luminor encourages those who want to support it to send an email to SOFRA and its leaders. It can even provide turnkey advocacy: “I am a spectator of the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema (and/or a resident of the district). I want to tell you my anger about your intention to close this cinema to replace it with a real estate project. Postcards are also available to the public in the hall of the cinema, to be addressed to the town hall of IVe borough. Finally, the cinema reminds us that the best way to support it is to go see a film there. "This cinema belongs to you and you have the right to defend it", concludes the manager of this room.