The collective "La Clef Revival" has concluded an agreement before a notary to buy the premises with an area of 800 m2 for 2.9 million euros, against 4.2 million initially. The purchase agreement is valid for six months.

In the meantime, to complete a guaranteed bank loan, the collective is relaunching an appeal to donors to raise 600,000 euros. A fundraising campaign among the general public, still ongoing, has already collected 200,000 euros.

Patrons, including personalities of the 7th art, have already contributed 600,000 euros.

"This is the beginning of the countdown: the endowment fund must raise the entire sum before October 26, 2023," say the representatives of the collective "to make this neighborhood cinema a common good, which will remove it definitively from speculative pressures".

With a view to finalizing the takeover and reopening, an agreement has been finalized with the National Cinema Center (CNC) to set up a ticket office at free price, according to the philosophy of the defense collective.

From September 2019 to March 2022, this arthouse cinema located in the Latin Quarter, the last Parisian associative theater, had been occupied by a collective of citizens and cinephiles -- finally evicted -- opposed to a real estate operation that would have led to its disappearance.

The works council of the Caisses d'Epargne owns the walls.

Filmmakers and actors Mathieu Amalric, Olivier Assayas, Robin Campillo, Leos Carax, Alain Cavalier, Agnès Jaoui and even the American director Martin Scorsese are among the supporters and donors of the collective "La Clef Revival".

"In recent years, La Clef has been occupied by people dedicated to the art of cinema. The owners want to sell it without worrying too much about what will become of this beloved theater at a time when it is increasingly difficult for cinemas to survive. To all members of La Clef Revival, know that filmmakers here in the United States, support you," the American filmmaker said in a video appeal for donations made public Wednesday.

The reopening project includes daily screenings but also image education workshops, an associative café and a screenwriting residency.

© 2023 AFP