Hundreds sign petition to preserve ‘1990s’ neon foyer at Bristol Showcase cinema

Fans say that stepping into the Showcase Avonmeads cinema, which opened in 1994, is like travelling back in time

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More than 600 people have signed a petition to preserve the 1990s foyer of a Bristol cinema.

The Showcase cinema at Avonmeads retail park is currently being refurbished but it is thought the retro neon-lit foyer may be replaced with a more modern look.

The organisers of the petition say that stepping into the Showcase Avonmeads cinema, which opened in 1994, is like travelling back in time with its ‘colourful carpets, garish neon and early 90s furniture’.

Showcase have installed new seating in half of the screens at Avonmeads and removed the old seating and carpeting. The organisers of the petition understand that the rest of the screens and the foyer will soon follow.

They want Showcase to maintain and preserve the current foyer fittings (especially the neon) and that whatever work that is done in the future is in keeping with the early 1990s character of the building.

“We aren’t luddites, it’s inevitable that over time things will have to be replaced or upgraded to keep the building safe and functioning, as well as to improve the showing of films, accessibility, and the experience of staff. But what we ask is that the cinema keeps its unique character.

“For many of us, Showcase Avonmeads holds a special place in our hearts. We watch films there because it’s unique character reminds us of why we fell in love with cinema.”

The anonymous founder of the @showcasememes Twitter account for the Avonmeads cinema told BBC Radio Bristol’s James Hanson that the cinema’s 1990s look was one of the reasons people still prefer to see films there.

“A lot of people have said that’s the reason they go there. There are other sleek modern cinemas in Bristol but the reason they go to that one is the vibe and aesthetics.

“It’s very nostalgic for me because I remember going there when I was a kid. When you go in there, it feels like you travel back in time.

“When you’re in the foyer talking about the film or getting your popcorn and food, it’s just a nice place to be.”

Showcase has been approached for comment.

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