Save the Belmont Cinema campaign group and the Faffless cafe have announced rival bids to reopen the Belmont Filmhouse with five others also in the running.
Both organisations have submitted a note of interest to the council, which owns the building and has been searching for a new operator.
Five other organisations have also registered a note of interest, but their identities remain a mystery.
The filmhouse was closed in October after the charity who operated it went bust.
The deadline for potential operators to register their plans for the treasured Aberdeen institution has now passed.
Recent studies have shown that the Aberdeen institution was waning long before the spread of Covid.
In a report into the viability of the plans, market analysts Mustard Studio admitted survival could be “genuinely hard”.
All interested parties were asked to fill out a form and explain to the council where their funding would come from and what they would do with the building.
Two organisations, Save the Belmont Cinema and Faffless, believe they have what it takes and have announced publicly they have submitted an interest with the council.
But the two groups have very different plans for the future of the Belmont.
What would Faffless do with the Belmont?
Faffless, the trendy cafe on Netherkirkgate, was one of the first businesses to express an interest in taking on the Belmont Filmhouse in October.
Boss Craig Thom, 25, who grew up in Fraserburgh and previously managed an Albyn Place restaurant, started his business in August 2021.
Faffless has become more than just a place for food, running as a comedy venue, open mic spot and whisky bar.
He believes that already operating a “super artsy place” makes him the perfect contender to run a revamped Belmont.
Under Mr Thom’s vision, the independent cinema would still screen the sort of niche movies that local culture vultures have flocked to since 2000.
In a post on social media, he wrote: “We believe that we are the best placed people to take on the Belmont and turn it back into a destination for the city.
“Focusing on creating an amazing overall experience from nice food and drink, as well as amazing indie and commercial films.
“We have also said that if we don’t get the whole operation we would be happy to just take on the food and drink operations.
“However, the goal is to have the whole space and create a Faffless film experience.”
What is Save the Belmont Cinema’s vision for the filmhouse?
Another group that has announced publicly that they have submitted a note of interest is the Save the Belmont Cinema campaign group.
It rose to prominence immediately after the news of the closure broke as a community-led organisation dedicated to saving the building.
The group believes the “best chance” for the Belmont to have a future is one that is operated by the community.
A spokesman for the group said: “Following the conclusion of this stage of the process, we expect the contract for the cinema’s operation to go out to full tender.
“In anticipation of this, and informed by Mustard Studio’s feasibility study and our own recent customer survey, the group continues to build our business plan, focusing on four key pillars: film, education, community and customer experience.
“We understand the scale of the challenge, and opportunity, that lies ahead in creating a venue that is the destination for film in Aberdeen.
“We look forward to sharing our vision for the Belmont that celebrates the medium of cinema from an educational and entertainment standpoint.”
It is now expected the council will weigh up all the proposals it has received before progressing to the next stage in its hunt for a new operator.