A CINEMA company says it will not comment on the future of one what is believed to be Britain's oldest operational cinema amid fears the site will shut for good.

The Duke of York's Picturehouse in Preston Road, Brighton, is currently closed and boarded up with owners Cineworld currently facing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The Argus:

Concerns were raised over the weekend for the future of the site, with some customers fearing it would shut for good.

Cineworld, the UK's largest cinema operator, runs both the Cineworld and Picturehouse brands.

As a result, it is responsible for the Duke of York's Picturehouse site as well as Duke's at Komedia in Gardner Street and the Cineworld at Brighton Marina.

The Argus:

It was announced today that Cineworld has secured a debt lifeline to help the business through the Covid crisis.

The Argus contacted Cineworld regarding the fate of its Brighton venues.

But financial representatives for the business said no comment would be issued on "specific sites at the moment".

The Argus: Duke's at KomediaDuke's at Komedia

Picturehouse has also been contacted for comment.

All Cineworld sites in the UK and Ireland, as well as the US, were temporarily closed last month after big studios started to delay their major film releases to wait for better audiences.

A total of 633 sites remain shut, affecting an estimated 45,000 employees.

However, in a positive update for the cinema operator, it has been reported today that Cineworld has secured a £336 million debt lifeline to help guide it through the coronavirus pandemic.

The group said it has also secured access to another £233 million in liquidity to boost its finances.

Shares soared on Monday after it disclosed the new lending facility, which will mature in 2024.

Cineworld said it has also extended an £83 million revolving credit facility, which was due to expire next month, to May 2024, and pulled forward an expected tax refund of more than £150 million to early 2021.

The Argus: The Cineworld site at Brighton MarinaThe Cineworld site at Brighton Marina

Analysts at Investec said: “With vaccine development progressing, this should give investors significantly greater confidence in Cineworld emerging from the crisis, allowing the company to capture demand as it returns with a robust slate of postponed films.

“Although recent changes to the theatrical window by peers have captured industry headlines, we continue to believe those will have limited impact on industry box office revenues overall.”

Mooky Greidinger, chief executive of Cineworld, was also optimistic about the company's future.

He said: “Over the long term, the operational improvements we have put in place since the start of the pandemic will further enhance Cineworld’s profitability and resilience.

“The group continues to monitor developments in the relevant markets in which we operate and our entire team is focused on managing our cost base.

“We look forward to resuming our operations and welcoming movie fans around the world back to the big screen for an exciting and full slate of films in 2021.”