Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Around Aberdeen: Adventures at the Belmont Picturehouse

I have a lot of great memories of seeing movies with various friends and coursemates while I was in Aberdeen. Aberdeen's two major cinemas are the Cineworld chain, which comprises a significant portion of Union Square mall (and has another location co-located with Codonas, which is where the Strategists went bowling a couple of times; I never saw a movie there, though). There's also the Vue Cinemas on Shiprow, which has much more competitive pricing. I saw plenty of movies at both Union Square and Shiprow, but some of my fondest Aberdonian movie-going experiences took place at on Belmont Street.

I've already written about the day I killed watching Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. Somewhere, I still have my certificate acknowledging my willingness to attend the entire event. Later, just a couple of weeks before leaving Aberdeen, I attended a great event with CN Homeboy and Rock Sniffer: Predator on 35mm. It was a fantastic crowd, and there were hoots and jeers at all of the most famous lines from the film. (There are Internet relics of that night here, here, and here.)

While I was in Aberdeen, there were rumblings that Cineworld's purchase of Picturehouse would force the Belmont to close. According to Wikipedia:
After some turmoil and uncertainty, the lease for exploitation on the Belmont to Picturehouse had been extended in April 2011 for a further ten years.[1] However, with the purchase of Picturehouse Cinemas by Cineworld, the company were forced to sell the Belmont due to a ruling by the Competition Commission that it had created unfair competition in the city. In April 2014, Centre for the Moving Image took over the lease and renamed the premises Belmont Filmhouse as a sister cinema to the Edinburgh Filmhouse.
You can see the final posts from the Belmont Picturehouse on Facebook and Twitter. Having looked around their new Facebook page, and their new website here. From the look of it, the actual format of the venue continues almost unchanged, and that's refreshing since it really offers a much different experience than the big name cinemas. What's not refreshing is that I'll be in America for yet another great event on Belmont Street: a showing of the entire Back to the Future Trilogy on 05 October 2014! Bollocks!

Post-Script: I obviously published this later than I intended, so the Back to the Future Trilogy event has passed. Everything else is dead on accurate.

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