§ 8. Mr. Janner
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many cinematograph theatres are now unemployed as such or completely closed; and what proportion of the total this represents.
§ Sir D. Eccles
The information is not available in the form requested. After allowing for new and re-opened cinemas, the net number closed during the year 1957 was 175. The number of cinemas now open is 4,085.
§ Mr. Janner
Is the President of the Board of Trade aware that there is a serious danger that a large number of cinemas will close in the near future and that the industry is being seriously 1067 affected by the heavy tax imposed on it? Will he advise the Chancellor of the Exchequer to see that removal of the tax takes place when the Budget is presented?
18. Mrs. Slater
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many cinemas have closed in North Staffordshire since 31st December, 1956.
Is the Minister aware that, in addition to those he mentioned, others are about to close, and that this is an indication of what is happening generally? In view of the difficulties of the small cinemas, will he not ask his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give sympathetic consideration to the total abolition of Entertainments Duty?