Blue Story: Vue boss hopes to rescreen banned film

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Media captionVue chief executive Tim Richards says the chain is looking at “beefing up security” to bring the film back

The boss of a cinema chain that banned a London gang film after a mass brawl in Birmingham has told the BBC he hopes to resume screenings by the weekend.

Vue banned Blue Story after saying there had been 25 serious incidents in 16 of its cinemas.

But its chief executive, Tim Richards, said it was now looking at “beefing up security” to restart screenings.

It comes after Blue Story’s director, Rapman, questioned whether there were “hidden reasons” for the ban.

Rapman, whose real name is Andrew Onwubolu, previously told the BBC there was “no connection” between his movie and the brawl in Birmingham, which led to five arrests.

“And then you start thinking, is there hidden reasons there? What’s the owner like? Has he got an issue with young urban youth? Is he prejudiced?

“Does he believe that this film brings a certain type? Is there a colour thing?”

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Media captionRapman says he feels cheated following Vue’s decision

Vue has said the decision to pull Blue Story from its 91 cinemas nationwide was “categorically not” related to race.

Responding to Rapman, Mr Richards said the chain wanted “more movies like this on our screens, not less”.

“Right now we are looking at trying to get that movie back onto our screens by the weekend and possibly, if we can, to accelerate that,” he said.

“Our plans right now are to look at the timings and look at who’s buying the tickets, and we’re going to be beefing up security where we’ve had problems.

“There will be one or two cinemas, like Birmingham, where it will be very difficult to justify screening it again there.”

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Paramount Pictures

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Rapman (centre) on the set of Blue Story

Blue Story focuses on two friends from different south London postcodes on rival sides of a street war.

It is rated 15 for strong language, strong violence, threat, sex and drug misuse.

Another cinema chain, Showcase, had also initially stopped showing the film after the incident in Birmingham, but reinstated screenings on Monday night after “careful consideration and discussions with the distributor”.

In a statement, Vue added: “Following an ongoing review of security to protect the safety of our staff and customers, we hope to be showing the film from this weekend with additional security arrangements in our cinemas to ensure everyone can enjoy the film in comfort and safety.”

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