Today it was claimed that Cineworld cinemas, one of the UK’s biggest cinema chains operating 81 sites across the country, had pulled Alain Guiraudie’s acclaimed 2013 film Stranger by the Lake from its screens just two days before it was due to receive a limited release.

At 12.59pm today Peccadillo Pictures tweeted this,

We’ve spoken to Peccadillo who confirmed that the decision had only just been communicated to them, and that there would be a large number of people who will need a refund. The film had played very well across the festival circuit last year and is playing in various cinemas for a limited time before a VOD release. No explanation has been forthcoming from Cineworld and so far we’ve received no comment from them, although as of ten minutes ago we could still book tickets for the film over the phone.

As VOD becomes a more viable means of releasing a film there are an increasing number of limited cinematic showings a few days before the on-demand release. Previous Peccadillo Pictures which enjoyed this form of release include Keep The Lights On and I Want Your Love.

What is important is that these films, which are not blockbusters, nor the latest CG-drenched franchise juggernauts, are being offered to the public. They are being given a chance and certainly a little variety in our cinemas is welcome these days.

Following the saga on Twitter reveals a lot of people angry at the apparent decision from Cineworld, and without an official statement rumours of a complaint from another distributor is being blamed.

We have reached out to Cineworld and will be happy to update this story when they do. In the meantime Stranger by the Lake is still showing in other cinemas this weekend – find your nearest showing here.


A few minutes ago Cineworld tweeted the following.