Fundraiser for vandalised Phoenix Cinema raises more than £14,000

A local father invited the community to show support to the cinema for not backing down on its decision to screen the documentary Supernova


One of many placards at the protest outside the Phoenix Cinema (Photo: Gaby Wine)

A fundraiser for Phoenix Cinema launched to repair damage caused by vandalism by anti-Israel activists has raised more than £14,000.

On Thursday, activists graffitied “Say no to artwashing” in large red lettering on the front of the iconic cinema in East Finchley, north-west London, to protest its decision to screen Supernova – an Israeli documentary about the Hamas massacre of 360 people at the Supernova music festival.

Local father Amir Barkan was inspired by a local WhatsApp group to set up an online page for donations. Supporters had already started donating to the website of the Phoenix Cinema, which has been struggling financially since Covid, however Mr Barkan “felt that these donations should have a clear message from the community to show our support and appreciation to them for not backing down despite the awful vandalism.”

He said, “Seeing the pictures of the cinema triggered very disturbing thoughts as to how our future will look. We are reliving our worst nightmares with the horrible Holocaust stories that are a scar in all our souls. Calling this movie ‘artwashing’ is either ignorance or pure hatred, and an attempt to hide the true horrors of the actions of Hamas.”

Mr Barkan added that a good friend of his who was attending the Nova festival was shot and injured by Hamas terrorists while heroically rescuing as many people as he could.

After creating the donations webpage, Mr Barkan was “amazed” to see how fast the word spread and how many members of the community donated to help the cinema and show their support by also coming to the demonstration yesterday evening.

He said, “I was in awe of the outcome. We ended up collecting over £10,000 of donations from the kind and caring people of our community who were horrified by these terrible actions that were made in an attempt to hide a true and horrific story.”

Later that day, he received a message from the chairman of the cinema, expressing how overwhelmed and heartened he was by the community’s support.

“The Phoenix Cinema has a warm place in the local community’s heart. I truly hope that the owners know and understand how important it was to screen this movie, especially after being bullied in such a hateful way. I believe the strong message from the community shows how much we appreciate their stance, care about them, and stand firmly by their side.”

Click here to donate to the fundraiser

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