Only a day after the shock closure of Showcase in Cabot Circus, we’re learning about a brand new Bristol cinema opening in the city centre in the new year. Its name? New Bristol Cinema. “We’re bad at coming up with names,” said co-founder Sam, announcing the news today on Reddit. “So like Ronseal, we’re doing exactly what it says on the tin.”
This new independent three-screen cinema will aim to appeal to a diverse range of film lovers, which means it will screen anything from Lord of the Rings marathons to Rocky Horror Picture Show sing-a-longs. “Alongside the films, we want air conditioning that works in summer and winter, nice toilets, comfy seats, and good legroom! All the things that get easily overlooked” added Sam.
There’s a long way to go yet. The team – who have decades of experience working at other local Bristol independents like The Cube Microplex and Watershed – have been working on the New Bristol Cinema since late last year. But the current timeline won’t see it open until late 2024/early 2025.
In the meantime, we can expect a 6-10 week pop-up in Broadmead, “where we can show you what kind of cinema we want to be”, sometime early next year. Then throughout 2024, Bristol New Cinema will announce a crowdfunder and settle on a location in Broadmead. So keep your eyes peeled for those!
Broadmead and Bristol City Centre at large hasn’t been the bustling destination it once was for a long time. But a swathe of independent businesses are reimagining the high street, like Sparks Bristol – the department store with a difference. With the closure of Showcase, Bristol New Cinema could become the face of a thriving, more independent city centre.
“We think there is still life in the high street and we’re following in the footsteps of our pals at Strange Brew, Chance & Counters, Dareshack, 21st Century Flicks and more to keep Bristol full of thriving independent homegrown businesses.”
Don’t just expect quirky, cult films to be screened, the new cinema will screen plenty of commercial movies too – whatever audiences want, they will get basically. What it will be doing is championing high-quality screens and audio, as well as the rare chance to see movies played on film. It will also hope to sell food and drink, at reasonable prices, from a bar and concessions stand to complement the visit.