Exciting developments are underway for the Belmont Cinema. An Aberdeen City Council committee has given the green light to begin the search for a new operator for the beloved independent cinema.

The Council commissioned a feasibility report from cinema specialists Mustard Studio. They suggested options to establish a sustainable cultural cinema program, drawing on successful examples from similar operations elsewhere.

A diverse film program

The report identified several critical factors for success. These include prioritising the customer experience, offering a diverse film program that appeals to local audiences, providing quality food and beverages, and making necessary improvements to the building.

With the approval from the Council, the next step involves inviting potential operators to outline their proposed solutions. They will also be asked demonstrate their competence in operating the cinema sustainably. This process will also assess the capital requirements of each operator’s model.

By the community, for the community

Our friends at the Save the Belmont Campaign expressed their delight at the Council’s decision. They believe that a cinema run “by the community, for the community” is the best option for ensuring the long-term sustainability of an arthouse cinema in Aberdeen.

Their statement was clear on the challenges saying: “We’re not oblivious to the scale of the challenge ahead of us, to modernise the building and continue to grow and welcome audiences back to the cinema. But we will endeavour to produce a robust business plan that will put education, information, entertainment and the community at the heart of the future of the Belmont.”

Breathe life into The Belmont

Seeking a new operator through market testing will hopefully secure a vibrant future for the Belmont Cinema. This iconic venue holds great cultural significance in the city. The right partner must share the vision of creating an outstanding independent cinema experience for the community.

The Council’s commitment to exploring options and involving the community in the decision-making is a smart move. It demonstrates a dedication to preserving and enhancing Aberdeen’s cultural landscape. This will ensure that residents and visitors can enjoy the magic of cinema in a unique and sustainable setting.

The team here at POST hopes that a suitable operator will be found. Someone who not only appreciates the heritage of the Belmont Cinema but also has the expertise and passion to breathe life into this cherished cultural venue.

About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST. This was from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They focus on community, culture and also the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers. These are the people that make a positive impact on our city every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community. And to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes coverage of Spectra 2023, interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil Fachie; Aberdeen rapper Chef and his push for success; an article about the pedestrianisation of Union Street; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of the campaign to Save the Belmont.

We are independent and entirely self funded. We just about cover our costs, but if you would like to help support our work, you could buy us a coffee.