Merlin Cinemas offer to purchase the Bodmin Public Rooms, which were for sale, has been accepted by Bodmin Town Council and will now move ahead with their plans to deliver a four screen cinema to the town. The company currently operate fifteen cinemas with 43 screens mostly in Devon and Cornwall, but with locations in the UK as far afield as Thurso in the north of Scotland.
They specialise in running cinemas in small, mostly rural and coastal communities, where the large cinema circuits are not interested. Many of their cinemas have been acquired in order to save them from closure. However in some towns like Bodmin, where there has not been a cinema since the 1980’s, they endeavour to find a town centre building suitable to convert to a cinema.

In 2008 they acquired another Grade 2 listed building in Falmouth. Working closely with the council and conservation officer it was converted to provide a five screen cinema in a town that had not had a commercial cinema for twenty years. It soon won the prestigious “UK Independent Cinema of the Year Award” and now attracts over 150,000 people a year to see films there. There are a great deal of similarities between the two towns; both having an absence of a cinema, available iconic buildings and ample adjacent parking. Every effort will be made to convert the Municipal Rooms sympathetically. We will endeavour to retain as much of the historic fabric inside, as well as to maintain and treat sensitively the outside of this beautiful building.

Generally new cinemas have several screens of varying size in order to offer a selection of the latest films, including some smaller licenced auditoria with waiter service, armchairs and sofa seating. With few exceptions, to be viable it is essential that cinemas have several screens. Otherwise it is often difficult to obtain the very latest releases. This is why a multi-use single screen cinema is rarely able to show current film product. Once open the new cinema in Bodmin will provide a wide range of film releases, as well the very fashionable “event cinema” in which opera, ballet, concerts and live stage shows are beamed in by satellite. This makes it possible to experience the Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, the Bolshoi Ballet or the National Theatre, to name but a few, in your local cinema and at a very affordable price.

With facilities for children’s parties, private hires, school screenings and presentations, the cinema will be a valuable social amenity, as well as a destination for visitors from a wider area, that helps invigorate the evening economy in the centre of town.

“Seeing a film at the cinema with family or friends is a very different experience to watching the film at home. With the latest digital projection and sound, it is more memorable, more sociable and offers a sense of occasion.

Cinema-going in the UK has experienced a huge renaissance over recent years and we believe that Bodmin deserves a good cinema. Having now found a suitable building we look forward to providing one as soon as is possible for local people to enjoy films as they are best seen; on the big screen at the cinema”
Geoff Greaves, Director of Merlin Cinemas