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Aberdeen independent cinema Belmont Filmhouse to reopen with thrilling programme

belmont filmhouse
Aberdeen's Belmont Filmhouse will reopen on Monday, May 31

Aberdeen independent cinema Belmont Filmhouse has announced its long-awaited reopening date and released an exciting programme tailored to local film lovers.

From launching a successful movie streaming service to hand-picking a captivating story each week for its Book Club, Belmont Filmhouse staff worked tirelessly to provide Aberdeen fans with the best movie and entertainment experience from home.

But now, Belmont Filmhouse’s head of cinema operations Colin Farquahar is looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the Aberdeen cinema when the venue reopens on Monday May 31.

While cinemas are allowed to reopen from today (May 17), Colin and his team decided to wait till May 31 to ensure they can welcome their loyal customers safely and offer them an abundance of films to choose from.

Belmont Filmhouse is getting ready for big reopening

Colin said: “We have just been waiting on the final clarification from the Scottish Government to see whether there would be any changes to the regulations cinemas had to use for social distancing.

“Since we were anticipating a change in rules, we gave ourselves a little bit more time to prepare and to also be able to give our staff more warning.

“We also like the day May 31 – I think it’s a good day, one that people will remember.”

Colin recorded a video message for Evening Express and The Press and Journal readers.

While the Belmont Street cinema has been closed since November, parts of the venue were refreshed and refurbished.

“We’ve had a lot of building work done and we have new lighting too – this kept us really busy,” said Colin who cannot wait for everyone to see the changes and see the cinema busy again.

He said: “I honestly cannot wait – I didn’t expect how much of a surge in enthusiasm I would have as soon as I saw the First Minister saying that cinemas can actually reopen.

“This week’s been a blast, my mood has been better and I cannot wait to see our customers.”

Programme will include Oscar-winning films

Belmont Filmhouse will screen films that were previously available on-demand as well as popular Oscar-winning movies.

Colin said: “In essence, it’ll be the best pick of the last year or so – we’ll be screening Nomadland, Sound of Metal, Father with Anthony Hopkins, and Judas and the Black Messiah which was also nominated for an Academy Award.

“We’ll also have Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, plus other films that were waiting on live audiences.”

Colin said that their upcoming film content is significantly better in comparison to last year’s programme.

“When we reopened last year, there was a wee bit of a struggle for content and it was part of the reason why we closed in early November – it wasn’t just the pandemic at that point.

“This year feels a lot different – there seems to be a very decent selection of films, so hopefully, audiences will respond very well.”

Customers feel more safe and confident going to the cinema

Colin also thinks locals will now feel more comfortable and safe going to the cinema compared to late last year.

He said: “I think people have been waiting to go to the cinema and they really want that sense of normality.

“The biggest difference I noticed is the amount of older folk out and about. I’ve spoken to them when I was having a coffee at the front door and now that they’re vaccinated, it has given them the confidence to go out, which is really nice to see.”

Belmont FIlmhouse will screen Nomadland, Father, Sound of Metal and more

Cinema staff  ‘overwhelmed’ by customer generosity

Colin is also grateful the cinema’s loyal customers supported the venue last year when Belmont Filmhouse launched its fundraiser to be able to reopen.

He said: “Last summer when we were struggling financially, we did a donation drive and people responded so generously – we raised about £30,000 – we needed funds to get PPE and it was before we got any resilience funding.

“It was really quite overwhelming. I have been working in the building alone for most of the time and we were getting cheques coming through the post even weeks after we closed the campaign and we received some lovely letters too and it was quite emotional reading them.”

Other Aberdeen cinemas are also reopening

In other news, Vue on Shiprow will reopen today (May 17) and Andrew Dykes, general manager of Vue Aberdeen, said he was delighted to open the cinema’s doors once again.

He said: “In a year marked by restrictions on our daily lives, the importance of escapism has never been stronger and we are delighted to be able to open our doors once again on 17 May.

“After the best part of a year at home, we know that families and entertainment fans in Aberdeen are craving safe out-of-home experiences like never before – cinema provides that unique experience of being able to truly immerse yourself in a great story.

“We are showing some fantastic films including family favourite Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, and other great content such as Glastonbury Presents: Live at Worthy Farm.

“We are also looking forward to the release of a spectacular array of Hollywood blockbusters over the next 18 months including No Time to Die, Top Gun: Maverick, Minions: The Rise of Gru and Fast & Furious 9.”

Aberdeen’s Cineworld in Union Square and in Queens Link Leisure Park will reopen on Wednesday, May 19.

If you’d prefer to continue watching films from the comfort of your home but still wish to support Aberdeen’s only independent cinema, you can learn more about Belmont Filmhouse’s Filmhouse at Home below.

New movie streaming service launched by team behind Aberdeen’s Belmont Filmhouse

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