Weston-super-Mare's historic art deco Odeon cinema closes for the final time after 88 years

The cinema opened in 1935. Credit: Google Maps

A historic art deco cinema in Weston-super-Mare is closing for the last time - 88 years after it first opened.

Odeon said the cinema was "no longer viable" when it announced the closure last month and it will play its final film on Monday 5 June.

The cinema, in The Centre, was built in 1935 but the auditorium was split into three smaller units in 1973 before a fourth screen was added in 1991.

In a statement, the company said it was a "difficult decision" made "following a thorough assessment of all available options".

“We’ve been truly proud to serve our guests at Odeon Weston-super-Mare and to bring years of movie magic to the community," a spokesperson for the cinema chain added.

The company said it will be looking to secure jobs for as many of the Weston-super-Mare team as possible in other Odeon cinemas nearby such as in Taunton, Bath, and Bristol.

The cinema opened in 1935 Credit: Ben Snowdon

It is unclear what will happen to the site or an original 1930s Compton organ which remains inside it.

At a North Somerset Council meeting on 23 May, the authority's leader Mike Bell described the building as "very important" and said he was concerned about the Odeon's closure.

He said he had written to the firm to ask about their intentions for the site.

"We have already got a team of officers looking at options and making sure that we can try and engage with the owners of the building to make sure it is not lost and put at risk," he added.

“The last thing we want to see is that building ending up mothballed and another vacant building in the town centre which is difficult to deal with. So we will certainly do everything we can to support the community in campaigning to save that building and — critically — to protect the organ.”

Cllr Bell said on Facebook on 5 June that he'd met with Odeon on Friday (2 June) to discuss the future of the building. 

He said Odeon confirmed that they intended to sell the building as quickly as possible, and that they were working to see if there was interest from an alternative operator. 

Cllr Bell finished: “North Somerset Council will work closely with Odeon and any other interested parties to help keep the building alive and I am optimistic that a solution can be found.”

ITV News West Country has asked the Odeon about its future plans for the site and is awaiting a response.

Credit: With some words from local democracy reporter John Wimperis.