UK Cinema Chains Pull Movie ‘Blue Story’ Following Mass Brawl At Birmingham Venue; Distributor Paramount Responds

UK Cinema Chains Pull Movie ‘Blue Story’ Following Mass Brawl At Birmingham Venue; Distributor Paramount Responds

25 Nov 2019 (PT)
BLUE STORYPARAMOUNT

Two major UK cinema circuits have pulled Brit movie Blue Story following a disturbance at a Vue venue in the city of Birmingham.

Police officers were called to reports of youths with machetes at the Star City multiplex on Saturday evening. Officers ultimately cleared around 100 youths from the venue and recovered two machetes and a knife from the scene.

An officer at the scene explained, “This was a major outbreak of trouble which left families who were just trying to enjoy a night out at the cinema understandably frightened. We worked quickly to move the crowds on, but were met with a very hostile response and officers had to draw Tasers to restore order. It’s clear that some of those who went to Star City were intent on causing trouble.”

Five teenagers, including a 13-year-old girl, were arrested with Vue cinemas banning the film from its 91 outlets in the UK and Ireland in response. Showcase has also dropped the hard-hitting BBC Films-backed crime-drama about two friends who become rivals in a vicious London gangland war. The film, released on Friday, has garnered positive reviews and a BIFA nomination.

Fellow UK major Odeon told the BBC it was not withdrawing the film, but had “a number of security measures in place” for screenings. Cineworld is also screening the movie, which was released by Paramount UK on more than 300 cinemas nationwide.

A spokesperson for UK cinema chain Showcase said, “The safety of our guests is of the utmost importance. Due to the recent incidents tied to screenings of the film Blue Story, after careful consideration with the film's distributor, Showcase Cinemas has immediately removed the film from our all of our participating cinemas. Any guests that have purchased tickets in advance can receive a full refund at the cinema box office. We remain in discussions with the distributor with regards to the possibility of re-introducing the film in due course. We apologise for any inconvenience but guest safety remains our top priority.”
Paramount UK commented, “We were saddened to see the events that unfolded at Star City and our sympathies are with all those affected. We feel that this is an important film, which we've seen play in more than 300 cinemas across the country, with incredibly positive reactions and fantastic reviews. We thank all our exhibition partners for their ongoing support.”

After the film was pulled, the film’s writer and director, Andrew Onwubolu, aka musician and YouTuber Rapman, said the disturbance was “truly unfortunate” and he hoped it was not an “indictment” of the film.

BLUE STORYPARAMOUNT
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UK Cinema Chains Pull Movie ‘Blue Story’ Following Mass Brawl At Birmingham Venue; Distributor Paramount Responds
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