Farewell to the last of the ABC cinemas

Bournemouth's iconic cinema hosts its final screening.

by Jennie Kermode

Bournemouth's ABC cinema
Bournemouth's ABC cinema Photo: Chris Downer

A piece of history will be lost today when Bournemouth's ABC cinema closes its door for the last time, bringing the popular cinema brand's 90 year reign to a end. Fans are gathering to say goodbye at a special screening of Back To The Future to raise funds for mental health charity Dorset Mind.

The first ABC cinemas opened their doors in Scotland in 1927, a period during which Glasgow alone had over 100 cinemas in operation. Their distinctive style enabled them to survive a period of consolidation and the move into the modern era. When the company was purchased by Odeon at the start of the new millenium, they were gradually phased out, and the merger of Odeon and UCI in 2004 speeded up the process. The Bournemouth cinema on Westover Road, which has been in operation for 80 years, will not be rebranded. It is set to be sold off to make way for luxury flats. A new cinema is expected to open in the BH2 leisure complex under development for Bournemouth Square.

"It's the end of an era," said manager Spencer Clark.

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