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Readers name their favourite cinema in Aberdeen… and the results may surprise you!

The city's two Cineworld venues and Vue are vying for customers in an increasingly tough environment.

What is Aberdeen's favourite cinema?
We asked our readers what their favourite cinema in Aberdeen was. Image: Clarke Cooper/DC Thomson

Our readers have offered their verdict on Aberdeen’s favorite cinema…

In the golden days of the movies, the city was known as Scotland’s picturehouse capital.

There were 17 spread across Aberdeen at one point, with six on Union Street alone.

But, following the closure of the Belmont Filmhouse last year, there are now only three in Aberdeen.

The Vue on Shiprow and Cineworld multiplexes at Union Square and the beach are now competing for customers in a tough trading environment.

The Belmont Cinema closed in October 2022. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.
The Belmont Cinema closed in October 2022. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.

When we recently revealed that the Queen’s Links complex is suffering a decline in visitors, the article sparked a lot of discussion on the fate of Aberdeen’s movie scene.

And with a summer blockbuster season promising hits like Indiana Jones, Barbie and Spider-Man we asked our readers to name their favourite cinema in the city…

So what is Aberdeen’s favourite cinema?

In contrast to the recent findings that attendances have been tumbling at the Queen’s Links Cineworld, many said the seaside venue was actually their go-to destination.

Plans for an Imax screen at the Queen’s Links Cineworld were dropped. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson
And days ago we revealed that takings were down at the multiplex described as “shabby” by one Cineworld member. Image: Clarke Cooper/DC Thomson

Kyla June said: “I also really like Vue, and would go more often but parking can be a bit of a nightmare.

“NPC is very expensive, and it’s just a bit too far to walk from Union Square if I’m taking my parents.

“So, Cineworld down at the beach for accessibility!”

Rachel Vegglis added: “I prefer the beach for ease of parking.”

The Queens Links Leisure Park has a huge car park in front of The Range. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

What do fans make of beach Cineworld’s apparent decline?

Kay Ross said the Cineworld at the beach has been “dead” whenever she has visited recently.

Even the high-adrenaline thrills of Vin Diesel’s latest action film didn’t tempt many…

Kay said: “Almost get a cinema room to yourself, saw Fast X yesterday and must have been less than 20 people in screen five, the biggest one.”

Lynne Harper is worried that the recent closures of neighbouring Chiquito, Bella Italia and Frankie and Benny’s will only make things worse for the venue.

She said: “They need to fill the restaurant buildings at the beach properly.

“People might be more inclined to come down if the place had more going for it. The promenade is great but they close early evening.”

Frankie and Benny’s at Queen’s Links in Aberdeen. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

But some said its lack of popularity was what they like best about it!

James Scott said: “The beach is my fave. It’s not as busy. Always get a ticket.”

What other cinemas got a mention?

Some responded by saying their favourite place to munch through a tub of popcorn and sip an oversized fizzy drink was the Vue on Shiprow, which has been there since 2004.

Many said they enjoyed its cheaper tickets.

Lynne McIntosh likes Vue, but reserved special praise for the “fantastic” Montrose Playhouse just over the Angus border.

Some say the Montrose Playhouse is worth the drive! Kim Cessford / DC Thomson

She raved: “Big comfy seats, cheaper tickets, what’s not to love.”

Meanwhile, many readers praised Union Square’s Cineworld as the most “convenient”, with buses dropping cinephiles off at the door.

That could be one reason why it’s bucking audience trends, with audiences up this year.

Could Aberdeen’s favourite cinema be one nobody would have guessed?

A surprising number of Aberdonians caught us by surprise – answering that their favourite cinema is actually 30 miles away in Peterhead!

Jennifer Heddle explained: “Used to go to the beach cinema all the time but since the Arc Cinema in Peterhead opened, I go here all the time now.

“Much better seats and plenty legroom.”

The Peterhead cinema opened in a former bingo hall in 2020. Image: Arc Cinemas

Jacqueline Bruce added: “Since Arc opened in Peterhead I’ve only been to Cineworld in Aberdeen twice.

“The Arc is much comfier. Better seats and more legroom.”

Alison Greig concurred: “We only go to Arc Cinema in Peterhead now since we were allowed back out to cinemas. Lovely staff, nice seating and not far to travel.”

Just look at this slate, it’s blockbuster after blockbuster all summer 🤩❤️🎬

Posted by Arc Cinema Peterhead on Saturday, 20 May 2023

The glowing reviews just kept coming…

Kimberley Robertson chipped in: “I prefer Arc in Peterhead.

“Comfortable seating, really good prices and the sensory viewings are great.”

Jules Robertson said: “We’re the same.

“We only go to Arc in Peterhead now as it’s cleaner and much more room.”

So there we have it, could Aberdeen’s favourite cinema actually be in Peterhead?

Let us know what YOU think in the comments section below!

For some, their favourite cinema is still the Belmont Filmhouse

Bruce Mills said: “Dumb question, they are all the same. We NEED the Belmont.”

His answer will come as some encouragement to the Save the Belmont Cinema group as they ramp up their takeover ambitions.