Future of Bíó Paradís hangs in the balance

30.01.2020 - 10:13
Bíó Paradís við Hverfisgötu.
 Mynd: RÚV
The future of Bíó Paradís, Iceland’s only independent arthouse cinema, is highly uncertain this morning. All staff have been handed their notice, and RÚV sources indicate the problem may have something to do with the future of the cinema building itself.

Staff have a three-month notice period which means that Bíó Paradís will continue to operate as normal at least until the spring. After that, the future is unclear. The redundancies could potentially be cancelled, or the cinema could potentially close its doors. A board meeting of Heimili kvikmyndanna, which runs Bíó Paradís, is taking place this morning to discuss the future of the cultural institution. 

Bíó Paradís opened on Hverfisgata in central Reykjavík in autumn 2010, when the old Regnboginn cinema closed. It has since built up a unique position by showing films from all over the world, as well as old classics. It hosts film festivals and many cinema-themed events. It is, in many ways, the central space used and enjoyed by most people connected to the film industry in Iceland. 

As stated above, the reason for giving all staff their notice may not be a financial one. If, as suspected, the cinema is being asked to vacate its premises, it is not clear whether another suitable home could be found.  

The future of non-mainstream cinema in Iceland hangs in the balance. 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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