Home Cinema, the collective responsible for the occupation of the emblematic movie theater Cinema La Clef in Paris, dubbed La Clef Revival, is being threatened with expulsion since the beginning of this month. Located in the “quartier latin” of Paris, the cinema was originally known for supporting under-represented genre and rare art films. After La Clef’s owner, who was planning to sell the building, closed the venue in 2018, the non-profit organization, Home Cinema, decided to occupy the place in order to protect it from real estate speculation. Now, after two years of incessant activity and great support from the field of cinema and beyond, the space is once again vulnerable to big corporate interests. Only weeks ago Nicole Brenez adressed the precarious situation of the Parisian collective in her State of Cinema 2021 text, describing the political importance of initiatives like La Clef Revival:
“La Clef Revival is at the same time a struggling cinema, a collective on trial, an Occupied Image Territory, an ensemble of brilliant counterattacks against the administered world and a concentration of all that cinema has produced in terms of emancipatory ideas. The handful of cinephile people were not mistaken, since a collection to buy the place very quickly raised the necessary large amount, showing that it was not just the fight of a few nostalgic desperados but the perpetuation of the ideals of freedom and development in culture as opposed to the pauperising logic of the cultural industry – in the tradition of the French Commune, the American Diggers, the Dutch Provos, the Italian Autonomia, and all those rebellious popular initiatives from which art and thought are born.”
Despite the cinema’s uncertain future, the collective remains defiant and continues their daily programmation. A campaign has also been launched to prevent the expulsion, which you can sign here.