HC Deb 04 June 1957 vol 571 c1062
24. Mr. Mathew

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of the 221 cinemas which closed last year were small cinemas with a capacity of 400 seats or less; and how many of these were exempt from Entertainments Duty.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I regret that this information is not immediately available, but it is being obtained from local sources. This will take a little time; I will write to my lion. Friend when it is ready.

Mr. Mathew

While I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that Answer, may I ask whether he is aware that a number of the smaller cinemas which have closed during the last year, and others which are making arrangements to close because of poor receipts, attribute their failure entirely to Entertainments Duty?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am aware of the criticism by the cinemas of Entertainments Duty, but I am happy to say that we have been able to improve their position somewhat this year.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the Chancellor aware that in the north of Scotland cinemas in small isolated places have sent figures to his Department to show that the losses which occur are less than the amount paid in Entertainments Duty—in other words, if it were not for the duty the cinemas would be able to carry on, but now these out-of-the-way places are likely to be deprived of cinemas altogether because of the tax?

Mr. Thorneycroft

It is just that type of cinema which will have most advantage from the provisions of the Finance Bill.