THE OLDEST operational cinema in Britain says it is with "great sadness" that it has been forced to close - with Argus readers sharing their memories of watching films there.

Brighton's Duke of York's in Preston Road is one of the Picturehouse cinemas which will temporarily close along with Duke's at Komedia in Gardner street.

In a statement, Picturehouse said it was "devastated" to be closing its cinemas and that it did "everything in our power" to support safe reopenings.

Here's what you had to say about the news

Posting on The Argus' Facebook page, Pam Mitchell said: "So sad. Surely Picturehouses have a different market and could stay open.

"Wish Dukes was a community venture. I'd help run it voluntarily."

Massimo Redaelli said the cinema's closure has reduced the historic building to "nothing".

He said: "Oh my God. That is an institution.

"I lived around the corner and I watched more films there than I had hot dinners.

"There were also wonderful events, comedians, talks with directors. A Brightonian icon reduced to nothing."

However, Santi Brage said the venue's closure was not a surprise.

He said: "I went to the Duke of York’s last week.

"Only 15 people to watch the film. If people don’t go to the cinema then don’t be surprised to see these businesses closing."

Why is the Duke of York's shutting?

Cineworld is the world's second largest cinema operator, and the largest in the UK, where it operates the Cineworld and Picturehouse brands.

Earlier this week, it emerged that Cineworld was closing its cinemas in the UK and Ireland.

The decision will affect around 45,000 employees in the two countries - Cineworld's two main markets.

It will shut 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the UK from this Thursday, and 536 Regal theatres in the US.

Picturehouse's full statement

A spokesperson said: "It's with great sadness that Picturehouse Cinemas will be temporarily closing all cinemas from Friday 9 October.

"At present, there is no set date for re-opening, however, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any updates once film studios are able to bring their major film releases back to the big screen.

"We will also continue to follow government and health authority guidelines to ensure that upon reopening, the health and safety of our staff and customers remain our priority.

"We cannot reiterate enough how difficult this decision was, and how devastated we are to be in this position.

"We did everything in our power to support the safe, sustainable re-openings of our cinemas, and we are very grateful to our employees who adapted quickly to their new roles so that our cinemas adhered to the government guidelines to ensure that our customers had a safe and enjoyable experience with us.

"We are sorry that many of you heard the news through the press before we had the opportunity to contact you directly.

"We're so grateful for the support of all our customers over the last few months; your loyalty to and passion for cinema is invaluable. We look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible to enjoy a full slate of films on the big screen."