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The Hidden Gem of Bournemouth

A Peek Inside the Colosseum Cinema, Westbourne

A Glimpse into Bournemouth’s Cinema Legacy

Tucked beneath the charming Westbourne Arcade, Bournemouth’s Colosseum Cinema is a delightful gem that cinephiles should not miss. With a humble seating capacity of 27, this quaint cinema, recognised as the UK’s smallest permanent cinema, is full of character and history.

The cinema was born in 2013, the brainchild of Paul Whitehouse, who initially conceived it as a “hobby business”. Its inspiration came from an unlikely source – a railway carriage cinema in Wales. That little spark transformed into what is now a cherished local destination, known for its intriguing range of films from foreign and B movies to art-house, film noir, and modern classics.

Defying the Odds: Standing Tall Amidst Giants

Despite the arrival of big chains like the BH2 Odeon, Bournemouth Colosseum has held its own, maintaining its distinctive character and film selection. The rise of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have affected the landscape of cinema, but the Colosseum Cinema has managed to leverage its unique appeal. It offers an experience that’s more than just watching a film – it’s a place to meet friends, enjoy a drink, and share a memorable evening.

A New Era: The Reopening and Revamping of the Colosseum Cinema

After a two-year hiatus due to Covid restrictions, the Colosseum Cinema has reopened its doors, and it’s better than ever. The cinema used this time to revamp the theatre, changing the layout and sprucing up. The seating has been expanded, and the theatre now boasts leather sofas and Dolby Atmos surround sound, creating a comfortable and immersive viewing experience.

Further enhancements include new screens and toilets, and an enlarged ground floor bar that now serves draught beer, completed with new lights and a fresh lick of paint. The cinema is not just about films – it’s a venue for children’s parties, live sports, and other events, adding to its community appeal.

The Colosseum Experience: More Than Just a Movie

The Colosseum Cinema aims to be more than a place to watch films. It’s about building community and providing a unique experience. With plans to hold midweek supper clubs, popular fish and chips film nights, and private parties, the cinema is sure to offer something for everyone.

Looking Ahead: The Future of the Colosseum Cinema

As the Colosseum Cinema ushers in a new era, its future looks bright. With a membership scheme in the works and an eagerness to make the most of social media outreach, the cinema is ready to welcome film lovers and community members alike.

Bournemouth’s Colosseum Cinema is a shining example of how small cinemas can make a big impact. Its charm, history, and unique features make it a must-visit location for anyone in the Westbourne area. So why not gather some friends, grab a drink, and enjoy a film in this little slice of cinematic heaven?

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Step into the colourful world of Entertainment with The Bournemouth Observer. We navigate the creative labyrinth of film, music, television, and more, delivering articles that entertain as much as they inform. We chronicle the arts and their creators, offering critiques, interviews, and behind-the-scenes peeks, all curated to captivate your cultural curiosity.
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