14 The Avenue,
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Avenue Cinema (Official)
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Minehead, a popular seaside resort on the north Somerset coast, had been without a cinema since 2017, when Butlins closed the ABC Cinema on their holiday camp to non-residents, although occasional film shows are presented by the Regal Film Society at the Regal Theatre. (That had opened as a cinema in 1934, but went over to predominantly live use in 1994. See separate Cinema Treasures entries for both venues).
In stepped Pat and Beryl Scott, owners of S&B Cinemas, operators of the Ritz, Burnham-on-Sea and the Westway Cinema, Frome (again, see separate entries).
They had been told about the empty Lifestyle Warehouse building by Minehead Mayor Paul Bolton, who tub-thumped its excellent centre-of-town location right next to a car park.
Planning permission was granted in September 2019, and their purchase of the building was completed on Friday 22nd November 2019.
The massive reconstruction involved stripping the building down to its bare walls, removing and replacing the leaking, asbestos-clad roof and building three luxury auditoriums.
Work started in January 2020, and it had been hoped the cinema would be open by Easter 2020 - but then the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March 2020.
Eventually, the Avenue Cinema opened on Friday 8th April 2022, with Pat Scott saying “My plan is to bring back old-fashioned cinema service that made going to the pictures such an event when we were young”.
Seating capacities are: Screen 1:112, 2:60 and 3:60.
The Avenue Cinema sits right next door to the Regal Theatre, with its film society screenings. Mr Scott said there had initially been some concerns about this proximity, but they cater for a different clientele and he is developing a very good relationship with the Regal Theatre.
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Recent comments (view all 1 comments)
I was given a very warm welcome when I visited the Avenue on Tuesday 18th April 2023 to see “John Wick: Chapter 4”, starring Keanu Reeves. The cinema has been fitted out to a very high standard, and is a splendid addition to the town’s entertainment attractions.