Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen

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The Belmont Cinema and Media Centre
Entrance to Belmont Cinema in 2019
AddressBelmont Street, Aberdeen AB10 1JS
OwnerAberdeen City Council
OperatorBelmont Community Cinema Ltd
Closed6 October 2022
Listed Building – Category C(S)
Official nameThe Belmont Cinema and Media Centre (former Trades Council Hall)
Designated24 April 1987
Reference no.LB20132

The Belmont Cinema is an arthouse cinema on Belmont Street, Aberdeen, Scotland and is the last remaining independent cinema in the city.

The cinema building is the property of Aberdeen City Council and is temporarily closed following the collapse of its former operator, the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) in 2022.[1]

Belmont Community Cinema Ltd were named by Aberdeen City Council as preferred operator for the site in September 2023, with an expected reopening date of late 2024.[2]


The building was constructed in 1896 as a trades hall to a design by architects, Alexander Ellis and Robert Gordon Wilson. It was principally used for meetings of Aberdeen's newly established Labour Movement.[3] The first film was shown on the premises in 1898, and featured footage of Queen Victoria at Balmoral Castle, establishing a tradition of hosting visiting cinema shows. In 1910, the Trades Hall was converted into a permanent cinema called the Coliseum. It was refurbished and reopened as the New Kinema in 1921.

After another refurbishment in 1935, it was renamed the Belmont Cinema. It closed in 1953, and the building was converted into a warehouse. It reopened under lease to Picturehouse Cinemas as the Belmont Picturehouse in September 2000, after a major refurbishment by Aberdeen City Council with assistance from the National Lottery and Scottish Screen.[4]

After some turmoil and uncertainty, the lease for exploitation on the Belmont to Picturehouse was extended in April 2011 for a further ten years.[5]

However, with the purchase of Picturehouse Cinemas by Cineworld,[6] the company were forced to sell the Belmont due to a ruling by the Competition Commission that it had created unfair competition in the city.[6]

In April 2014, Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) took over the lease and renamed the premises Belmont Filmhouse as a sister cinema to the Edinburgh Filmhouse.[4]

In October 2022 the Belmont Filmhouse closed when CMI ceased trading and entered administration.[7]

Following CMI's collapse, the 'Save The Belmont Cinema' campaign was founded by local cinephiles and business people.[8] This led to the creation of Belmont Community Cinema Ltd,[9] a local charity dedicated to reopening the Belmont which was selected as preferred operator for the cinema by Aberdeen City Council in September 2023.[10]

At a public meeting in October 2023, the new company pledged to put film, education, community and customer experience at the heart of a newly reinvigorated offering at the site.[11]

The cinema is a grade C listed building.[3]


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  3. ^ a b Historic Environment Scotland. "49 AND 51 BELMONT STREET, THE BELMONT PICTUREHOUSE (FORMER TRADES COUNCIL HALL) (LB20132)". Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b "History | Belmont Filmhouse". Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Belmont cinema 'set to be saved'". 26 April 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b "'Business as usual' for iconic Belmont cinema after takeover". STV News. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Belmont Filmhouse Stops Trading". 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
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