'An Exciting Development': Belmont Cinema campaigners launch new website
Group to become an uncincorpated association as plans to bring back beloved filmhouse gain momentum
By Andrew Cardno
Hope has been reignited within many Aberdeen cinema goers as efforts to save the historic Belmont Cinema press on. Cinema lovers gathered Monday night to discuss the recent developments in the ongoing campaign – headed by the Save The Belmont Cinema group.
During this update, STBC launched their new website that will focus on keeping people up to date with their progress in bringing this much beloved cinema back to the people. The website will highlight the enduring power of the Belmont and how much it means to the people of Aberdeen, with a memories tab that will allow people from all over the city to share their memories of seeing films on the silver screen, and what the cinema means to them – which will build a moving picture of the Belmont’s legacy and its impact on Aberdeen.
Commenting on the new website, Dallas King, campaign advisor and former manager of the Belmont had this to say: ‘The Belmont holds a very special place in my heart. I have so many memories attached to that building, the people I have met and films that I have watched there.’
The Belmont was a place for many, with their specialised child friendly screenings and the breadth of films that were shown under the darkened lights of their theatre. Anything from Ghibli to Tarantino could be seen at the Belmont before its closure in October 2022.
Last month the steering group voted to adopt a constitution, which would formalise the group as an unincorporated association; defined as an organisation set up through an agreement between a group of people who come together for a reason other than to make a profit.
Supported by ACVO (Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisations), this move sets the campaign up to develop a business plan around a Community Trust Model of Operation.
Chair of the campaign Jacob Campbell stated: ‘This is an exciting development en route to getting the Belmont back into public use. Formalising the campaign as an unincorporated association gives our campaign fresh direction and formal structures that we can use to ensure our community’s voice is heard loud and clear.’
The Belmont was a place for any type of cinema goer, and since its doors shut the impact has been felt city-wide. Many people have joined in the efforts to save the Belmont, and the support is palpable. The group has held two different screenings at Aberdeen University in order to raise awareness for the cinemas closure; It’s A Wonderful Life, which screened in December and But I’m A Cheerleader, which screened in late February.
In addition to raising awareness for the Belmont, these screenings also raised several hundred pounds for local charities – Instant Neighbour and Four Pillars.
Speaking on the Belmont, Dallas King also stated: ‘Unlike the characters in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, we do not want those memories, or the Belmont, to fade away. Whether it was the first cinema trip with their children or seeing a film they produced projected onto the big screen, through the campaign and the website, we can build a portrait of the impact that the cinema has had on the people of Aberdeen and beyond and what it can do in the future.’
The Belmont is an Aberdeen landmark and with the hope of saving it raging on, the public can only hope that it is brought back to the community in all its glory soon.
You can visit the new website at https://belmontcinema.co.uk/.