Picturehouse Cinemas: do you really want to work with Barnardo’s?

(Originally posted on www.indymedia.org.uk)

This weekend activists from South Wales No Borders teamed up with people in Exeter, Devon after a call-out to challenge Picturehouse cinemas about their link to Barnardo’s – the children’s charity that believes in locking up children.

Do Picturehouse believe in locking up children?
Do Picturehouse believe in locking up children?

Picturehouse claimed on their website that they are “very proud to be supporting Barnardo’s this Christmas”. Cinema-goers are invited to “donate £1 to Barnardo’s when you purchase your tickets”.

But despite a quiet day for the cinema, a few leaflets were handed out and the staff themselves seemed interested enough to pass on our concerns about the activities of Barnardo’s, and the link up, to their bosses at the Central Picturehouse and for some of our leaflets to be left in the cafe they have upstairs.

Feeling that this wasn’t enough to satisfy the group’s plans for the day, as it was still early, but feeling unable to stay for the screening of The Hobbit later in the day, even though it would bring a larger crowd than the Christmas matinee film (that was part of the scheme), leaflets were distributed up the street around the cinema with comments added that included, “for more info see Exeter PictureHouse”, “just letting you know that the detention of innocent children is backed by the charity promoted by Exeter PictureHouse” and “help us stop this – ask Exeter PictureHouse why they continue to support Barnardo’s”.

Local businesses around the cinema were also visited and activists talked to the staff about the cinema. The response was either positive or neutral, and no-one disagreed with the views but to them, but some asked for more time to read up on it and think about whether they could support the campaign or not. Some great responses lead to the displaying of the leaflet in some shop’s windows before the activists had even left the shop, with a further three shops saying they hoped to be able to display it but had to check with other staff or bosses. Other shops agreed they could send an email or contact the cinema in some other way – we hope that they do, and we hope to be back outside Exeter Picturehouse soon.

Contact details for the Exeter Picturehouse are:
email:  exeter@picturehouses.co.uk
Address: 51 Bartholomew Street West, EX4 3AJ
Box Office Number: 0871 902 5730

Contact details for other Picturehouse cinemas, and location details for potential action in other cities can be found here:
 http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/

Get in touch with them to show that Barnardo’s are not a charity that deserve people’s trust until they pull out of Cedars.

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