Merlin Cinemas to reopen old Odeon cinema in Weston-super-Mare after buying historic site

The Odeon closed the cinema in June, saying it was no longer financially viable. Credit: North Somerset Council

An art deco cinema in Weston-super-Mare is set to reopen after being bought by an independent cinema company.

The building in The Centre first opened as an 'Electric Cinema' in 1911 and was refurbished by Odeon Cinemas in the early 1930s.

The firm continued to operate the cinema until this year but closed its doors in June saying the site was no longer viable.

It sparked widespread sadness in the North Somerset town - but now people will once again be able to head for a film and some popcorn at the historic cinema.

Merlin Cinemas, which specialises in operating character-filled and predominantly coastal cinemas, officially purchased the cinema on Wednesday 9 August.

North Somerset Council leader Mike Bell said: “This is great news for the town and I'm really pleased that after such a short period of closure, the cinema will soon be back to doing what it does best.

"I’ve spoken to Merlin Cinemas today and assured them of our support for their work to maintain cinema operations at the building.

"I am confident, with community support, we can embark on a positive and sustainable future for this landmark site."

The cinema is home to a 1930s Compton organ - one of just two working cinema organs in the country.

Cllr Bell said Merlin has given assurances they will value and promote the organ.

"They're hoping to reopen the cinema again in the near future and will be developing a short and long-term investment plan to improve the building, including the listed features," he said.

"Their investment is another sign of confidence in Weston town centre and the work we're doing together to share all that is great about living in, working in and visiting our town."