Last ABC Cinema closes

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Last ABC Cinema closes

Post by Bombay »

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fi ... ie-9557242

The curtain will finally come down on the ABC Cinema brand today when its last high street movie theatre will close.

The ABC in Bournemouth, Dorset, was the last traditional cinema to defy the onslaught of large multiplexes that have sprung up all over Britain over the last 30 years.


But the imminent opening of a new 10-screen cinema 200 yards away has proved the final nail in the coffin for the Association of British Cinemas brand 89 years after they first premiered.

In the halcyon days of the silverscreen when crowds queued up along high streets to get into the ‘flicks’, ABC Cinemas had more than 400 movie theatres in the country.

Since the 1980s film giants like Cineworld, The Vue and Odeon have built huge out-of-town cinemas with multiple screens that has killed off the smaller theatres.

In 2000 Odeon Cinemas bought ABC and replaced the name on all of its cinemas except for the one in Bournemouth due to a quirk of its location.

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The ABC and Odeon were located on the same road in the town centre and it was thought it would confuse the public if both had the same name so the ABC title remained.

The ABC, that was designed by the ABC’s regular architect William Glen and opened in June 1937, will screen its final film today to a sell-out audience. A public vote has decided that Back to the Future will be the last movie under the ABC brand.

Phil Clapp, chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, said: “ABC Cinemas were a mainstay of UK cinema-going for many millions of people right up to the 1980s.

“Many people are rightly nostalgic as to their experiences at ABC sites across the country and it is true that for many the company kept the cinema-going flame alight at a time when many other sites were closing or being converted.

“Happily, we are now in a much healthier period for UK cinemas, and while the loss of the last ABC is of course sad, the public can be reassured that the modern cinema-going experience is a more popular and enjoyable one than ever.”

Richard Gray, of the Cinema Theatre Association, said: “The ABC brand was huge. They had movie theatres all over the UK.

“In the 1950s and '60s the ABC and Odeon had cinemas in virtually every town.

“The ABC spent more on their cinemas than the Odeon. They were larger and more elaborately equipped in terms of fixtures and fittings and had more external appeal.

“By the late 1960s people stopped going because they watched TV at home and the Odeon started sub-dividing their theatres into two or three screens from a 2,000 seat auditorium.

“Inn 1985 the first purpose-built multiplex was built in the UK in Milton Keynes, they were very much a US import, and things went downhill from there for the ABC.”

Spencer Clark, the general manager of the ABC cinema in Bournemouth said: “There is so much nostalgia associated with the ABC brand and we would like to give the final cinema the send-off it deserves.

“It is the end of an era and we want local people to have the opportunity to be part of history and watch the final screening.”



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Re: Last ABC Cinema closes

Post by Who2 »

I always thought it highly amusing when the Mecca ballrooms became bingo halls and then mosques.... 8)
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Re: Last ABC Cinema closes

Post by Bombay »

Mecca was mainly Odeon ABC's became alpha bingo clubs before becoming Mosques. There's been quite a fuss about the bingo in Luton in the past. I think it's a church now.

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Re: Last ABC Cinema closes

Post by hatusu »

The ABC cinema in Huddersfield played a large part in my youth as it was the location for several exciting events. In the 60’s in Huddersfield there were roughly 25 cinemas in the town and surrounding areas but the ABC was the most prestigious (it was previously known as The Ritz for good reason). I remember being very impressed by one of my boyfriends actually paying half a crown each for us to go in the balcony seats, as opposed to the stalls which were only 1s9d. However the most exciting times were when I saw the Beatles, and another time The Rolling Stones live on stage there. For the Beatles my schoolfriends and I had to queue all night (my mother thought I was having a sleepover at a friend’s house ) and then we nearly didn’t get tickets. We literally got the very last ones on the very back row .
Happy Days.

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Re: Last ABC Cinema closes

Post by BENNU »

When I read ABC Cinema, I hear ABCinema, which I remember from the seventies in Copenhagen. ABCinema was the first multiplex in Denmark with screens A and B.

Sorry, I couldn't help sharing that.

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Re: Last ABC Cinema closes

Post by Horus »

hatusu wrote:The ABC cinema in Huddersfield played a large part in my youth as it was the location for several exciting events. In the 60’s in Huddersfield there were roughly 25 cinemas in the town and surrounding areas but the ABC was the most prestigious (it was previously known as The Ritz for good reason). I remember being very impressed by one of my boyfriends actually paying half a crown each for us to go in the balcony seats, as opposed to the stalls which were only 1s9d. However the most exciting times were when I saw the Beatles, and another time The Rolling Stones live on stage there. For the Beatles my schoolfriends and I had to queue all night (my mother thought I was having a sleepover at a friend’s house ) and then we nearly didn’t get tickets. We literally got the very last ones on the very back row .
Happy Days.
That brings back a few memories Hatusu, the Beatles were a fairly local band and we would often go to a nearby dance hall where they would often play as The Silver Beetles as opposed to The Beatles. I can even remember occasions when one of the gang would ask “which band is playing this week? “the Beatles I think” was the reply “oh bugger that, I’m not going there then! Lets go somewhere else” :lol: Oh happy days.
But on the local cinema scene, the one with the most groups and artist appearing in my area was the Gaumont theatre, I once saw Roy Orbison, Del Shannon & Trini Lopez all on the same bill and singing these songs for just £1 :o

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Re: Last ABC Cinema closes

Post by Bombay »

My father did the lighting for 4 shows with the Beatles and the Rolling Stone's amongst many many other's when I was a kid I used to play cards with Lonnie Donigan and his band while Engelburt Humperdink was on stage during the summer season in Great Yarmouth

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