Protestor chains himself to cinema

AN Essex film director created a stir outside a London cinema after chaining himself to its doors in protest at its decision to cancel screenings of his latest film.

Elliot Furniss

AN Essex film director created a stir outside a London cinema after chaining himself to its doors in protest at its decision to cancel screenings of his latest film.

Tony Longhurst, based in Frinton, attached himself to the doors of the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton after he claims the management went back on a deal to screen his boxing picture Ten Percent three times.

Mr Longhurst told the EADT that after receiving confirmation that the screenings would take place, including a charity night to be attended by TV presenter and top critic Jonathon Ross, he was promptly informed the day before that the showings were off.

He said: “They tried to say it's our mistake. I didn't know what else to do - I couldn't think of any other way of doing it.

“Again, somebody had tried to kybosh my film. I'm not a protesting type of guy but I felt I was pushed into a corner and felt nobody was listening.”

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The commotion took place on March 12 and Mr Longhurst was arrested by the police - who he said were “very good” to him - but later released without charge.

He said the officers who took him away gave him some food and a cup of tea and even told him they would like to see his film, which follows the 1937 world title bout between Champion James Braddock and challenger Joe Louis.

Mr Longhurst spent £43,000 of his own money in producing the movie - making himself bankrupt in the process and even stepping in to the ring himself to take part in a prize fight to raise the cash.

He added: “They have really shot me in the foot. I've got to stand up and fight for my rights. We were hoping that these screenings would lead to getting more backing.

“I feel like James Braddock - nobody gave him a chance. But I'm going the full distance - it's the only way I know.”

When contacted, the management of the Ritzy Cinema declined to comment.

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