STAFF at Runcorn’s only cinema have started a petition in an attempt to encourage Cineworld to keep it open.

Earlier this week, east Runcorn MP Mike Amesbury was told that the cinema chain would not be reopening its Trident Retail Park branch at present due to 'unreasonable' rent requirements.

He described the potential of the cinema closing as ‘tragic’ and a ‘huge blow’ for the town, and this sentiment has been echoed by concerned employees and residents.

Staff also say that they were shocked to hear the news, as there had been no prior communication by Cineworld, and that they are terrified at the prospect of redundancy.

To fight to reopen the cinema, they have launched an online petition for Cineworld, Trident Retail Park and council leaders to work together to find a solution, and are urging people to show their support.

“Losing this cinema would not just be a massive blow for staff members, but also for local businesses and families,” said employee Ryan Stewart, who started the petition.

“Cineworld Runcorn has personally played a massive role in my life, not just in my work as an employee, but also in creating treasured memories with my family as a child.

“Having been open since the late 90s, it has doubtlessly touched many others in the same way.

“At the heart of this issue is a small, yet incredibly strong team of staff members at Cineworld Runcorn.

“The looming threat of redundancy is a terrifying prospect for staff who have worked hard over the years to build relationships with the local community and serve the people of Runcorn.

“As staff, we know that we can work harder than ever to make our cinema Covid-19-secure and support the development of the site.

“We hope that we can open its doors again and ensure that Cineworld Runcorn can be a place for families, couples and friends alike to make memories for years to come.”

When asked by the World why the cinema had not yet reopened, a spokesman said: "Cineworld has not taken any decision to close Cineworld Runcorn.

"We are in conversations with the landlord regarding our current terms, which we feel are unreasonable, and are hoping to re-open once the matter has been resolved.

"But for the time-being, especially during this pandemic, we are unable to open the cinema and operate it at a profitable level."

If you would like to sign the petition, visit