Devastation as film fans react to ‘shocking’ closure of Bristol’s biggest cinema

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It's set to close at the end of the month, screening its final film on November 30 

Cinema-goers in Bristol have reacted to the ‘shocking’ closure of the city’s biggest cinema. 

Showcase Cinema de Lux in Cabot Circus is set to close at the end of the month, screening its final film on November 30.    

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The reasons behind the closure are unclear, but it is understood it has been taken in response to a decline in ticket sales and an increase in rent.

Around 50 job roles are set to be affected by the closure, BristolWorld understands. 

“I’m really disappointed because I’ve seen some really good live events and films over the years with friends and family,” said Showcase Cabot Circus customer Jo Francis.    

“I live in Thornbury but this is the cinema I use above all because it’s like going somewhere special and a bit more glitzy. 

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“We need a campaign to keep it open, it’s all about money and not people.” 

Shelley Whitmee is one of the Showcase Cinema de Lux fans who's devastated by the news of its closureShelley Whitmee is one of the Showcase Cinema de Lux fans who's devastated by the news of its closure
Shelley Whitmee is one of the Showcase Cinema de Lux fans who's devastated by the news of its closure | Charlie Watts

Fellow cinemagoer Shelley Whitmee has finished work early every Monday for the last ten years to watch a film at Showcase Cabot Circus. She calls its closure “really bad news”.   

“I am absolutely gutted,” said a visually emotional Shelley, who lives in St George. 

“This is the main reason I come to Cabot Circus, so it sucks. We still have the Odeon in town but that’s not as comfortable or luxury.”     

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Jenny Gray from Brislington, who was visiting the Showcase in Cabot Circus to watch the new Hunger Games film, added: “It’s a shock, really disappointing.     

“It’s shocking that this one is in decline, rather than the more rural one at Avonmeads. It’s a massive blow because we are avid cinema-goers and use Showcase at least once a month.”  

The 14-screen Showcase Cinema de Lux is the biggest in Bristol and has the same number of screens as the Showcase at Avonmeads.    

Its closure on November 30 will also be the same week as the closure of Cineworld in Hengrove.

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A spokesperson for Showcase Cinemas said: "We can confirm that due to our inability to agree terms on a new lease with the landlords, our cinema in Cabot Circus, Bristol will cease trading with effect from the close of business on Thursday 30th November 2023."

Crispin Lilly, Managing Director, Showcase Cinemas UK added: "We would like to thank all the customers who have visited since we opened at Cabot Circus in 2008 and we hope they have enjoyed their time with us. We would also like to thank our committed team of employees at the site for their passion, dedication and hard work, especially over the last few difficult years.

"We are committed to delivering great cinema experiences to Bristol audiences and hope that customers will visit our other cinema in the city, less than 3 miles away at Avonmeads. 

"We have recently invested in this site and it now features the only fully customisable recliner cinema seating in Bristol within our state of the art de Lux auditoria.”

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