Talks to save a cinema at risk of closure showed high levels of support for the business, said the owner after an emergency meeting last Wednesday.

The Abbey Cinema in Abingdon may close on June 30 if a new lease cannot be agreed with the council.

Abingdon Town Council met with owners Sue and Ian Wiper on May 23 to discuss matters.

READ MORE: Abingdon cinema risks closure as crunch talks take place

The council encouraged members of the public to come along to the meeting and support the cinema.  

Ms Wiper said: “It went as well as could be expected.

“We had a very large turnout, and we are in the process of arranging an initial meeting with the council to discuss the new lease.

“It is going well from our point of view.

“We have had a massive show of support from people.”

She added: “The meeting was an opportunity for everybody in Abingdon to get the message across that they are behind the cinema.

“The people that spoke at the meeting made it very clear that the council should stop faffing around and sort the lease.”

Oxford Mail: Sue and Ian WiperSue and Ian Wiper (Image: Photo: Oxford Mail)

It is understood that a final decision on the lease has yet to be made following last week's council talks.

The public and press were excluded from these talks as it was listed on the confidential section of the town council meeting agenda. 

The cinema’s lease was first granted in 2018 and has since been extended twice with the current one expiring in September 2023.

MP for Oxford West and Abingdon Layla Moran has spoken out in favour of maintaining the cinema in the town.

She said she understood the frustration of residents due to the uncertainty with the process and due to how much they value the service.

The MP previously said: “I want to reassure residents that I am listening to their concerns. I also want to make sure that local residents are getting good value for each taxpayer pound.

“Councillors have given me their assurance that they are equally as committed to keeping a cinema in the town and I wish them well in that endeavour.

“A cinema is an important addition to Abingdon’s already vibrant town centre, and I absolutely understand the strength of feeling in the town.”

Councillor Nathan Ley has also stressed the town council’s commitment to the cinema.

He recalled family trips to the cinema - including his parents visiting from Southampton for a one-off screening.

“I am sure that the town council is also committed to keeping a cinema in Abingdon," Mr Ley said.

“For now, I think we would be best off leaving them to have the discussions they need to have."