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‘Fair trading’ probe into East Lancashire cinema takeover plan
COMPETITION bosses have announced they are looking into a deal which could see one chain take over East Lancashire’s largest cinemas.
Vue Cinemas has unveiled proposals to take over the 14-strong Apollo Cinemas outfit, which has a multiplex off Manchester Road in Burnley.
An Office of Fair Trading investigation has now been opened into the move and the views of Cinema-goers across the area are being sought about the potential impact of the merger.
Vue is already the operator of cinemas off Lower Audley Street in Blackburn and at The Viaduct, Hyndburn Road, Accrington.
An OFT spokesman said: “The investigation will examine whether competition in local areas may be affected, and whether there is a risk that prices could rise or service levels reduce as a result.”
The only other locations run by Apollo in the north-west are in Altrincham, Barrow and Morecambe but they also have a showcase venue at London’s Piccadilly Circus.
Earlier this year the Lancashire Telegraph revealed that the Burnley complex was undergoing a substantial makeover, with a restaurant addition planned.
And two years ago the Burnley site was given a £2.7million overhaul which enabled six screens there to show 3D films.
Cinemagoers and businesses whose bosses feel that they might be affected by the takeover are being asked to contact case officer Simon Deeble via e-mail on email@example.com or by faxing 0207 211 8916 before July 10.
The only other cinema currently running in East Lancashire is The Palace, an independent picturehouse in Longridge.