The lift at Reading’s only town centre cinema is expected to be out of action until Christmas, leaving many people unable to go the pictures.

Residents and councillors have hit out at the situation, which is preventing people in wheelchairs and with other disabilities from using the cinema.

Dr Jon Hastie, who lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, tweeted: “Tried to book tickets for Vue cinema in Reading and see on the website the lift is broken.

“Spoke to a member of staff who said it could be months before it is fixed.

“As a wheelchair user who loves films this feels gutting.

“I’m made to suffer because Vue has allowed their lift to become obsolete and now can’t source parts. A completely avoidable problem.”

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Another resident said she gave up going to Vue Reading “because the lift was permanently broken, plus you have to find a member of staff to operate it”.

She recommended the Showcase cinema in Winnersh but Dr Hastie said this would take him 50 minutes by walking and bus compared to 15 minutes to the Vue.

Councillors Karen Rowland, Adele Barnett-Ward and Sophia James hit out at the “unacceptable” situation.

Cllr Rowland has now raised the issue with council officers.

Under the 2020 equalities act cinemas have to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people in the way they deliver their services.

This is so that a disabled person is not put at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people in accessing services.

Vue has apologised for the lift being out of order and say parts have been ordered and are being manufactured.

A Vue spokesman said: “Factoring in the time necessary for the parts to be made and delivered we expect the lift to be back in working order in time for Christmas.

“We’re sorry for the inconvenience caused.

“We place great importance on making our sites accessible to all of our customers and will always work with our suppliers to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.”

The next closest major cinema to Reading is in Winnersh – the Showcase Cinema de Lux.

Reading also has an independent cinema – Reading Film Theatre – which shows films at the university Whiteknights campus.

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A new cinema is planned at the soon-to-be revamped Broad Street Mall but it is not clear when this will open.