St Andrews University students are planning a peaceful protest against Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake’s plans to open a sports bar in the town.
Hundreds of movie lovers hope to sell out every film showing at the New Picture House on Sunday to prove the venue is still viable.
And they have issued a rallying call to St Andrews residents to join their effort to save the town’s only cinema.
The celebrity duo are forging ahead with their bid to convert the North Street venue into a “premium sports and entertainment gastro pub”.
However, NPH managing director David Morris says the cinema “cannot continue” and will close.
And a planning application for the new venture is expected later this year.
Students hope to sell out nine films during St Andrews cinema protest
Sairaa Bains, president of the university’s school of film studies is also involved.
While there will be no physical demonstration, they hope to attract enough people to sell out all nine films showing on the three screens throughout the day.
Advertised movies include Mean Girls. American Fiction, Anyone But You and The Holdovers.
Management student Honey Harrop is among those taking part.
And she says the aim is to show councillors on the planning committee there is still demand for a cinema.
Sports bar plan ‘doesn’t make sense’
“We’re getting a lot of support on social media and we’re putting up posters in the town,” she said.
“If the cinema closes we’ll lose a lot of history and what we’re gaining doesn’t equate to what we’re losing.
“By doing this, we’re hoping to give some sign the New Picture House can be profitable.
“We’re asking people who haven’t been for a while to come on Sunday.
“Hopefully they’ll remember what a great experience it is and come regularly.”
The third year student added: “St Andrews is a small town and there aren’t a lot of places to go.
“For me, it’s somewhere I can hang out with friends. Losing it to a sports bar just doesn’t make sense.”
New Picture House is ‘no longer viable’
However, Woods and Timberlake’s firm Nexus Luxury Collection, says it intends to continue a cinema as part of its plan.
A spokesman said: “The New Picture House will be closing its doors as it is running at under 10% occupancy and is no longer viable.
“Without a serious and timely intervention, a cinema offering will be lost to the town.
“The project team is currently working towards the delivery of a planning application, but in the meantime will be undertaking further activity to provide the community with further details of the proposed offering.”
Mr Morris, meanwhile, said box office admissions across the UK are down 30% compared to 2019.
And he blamed the situation on the cost of living, energy prices and an increase in streaming services.