Report - - ABC Cinema - Bournemouth | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - ABC Cinema - Bournemouth


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I'm sure most of seen that recently some "youtubers" explored this place and living in the area and knowing about it for ages but not actually thinking you could get in we decided to go check this place out last night. Here is a brief history of it I found online:

The Westover Super Cinema was built for and operated by Associated British Cinemas(ABC), and was designed by their ‘in-house’ architect William Riddle Glen. It opened on 19th June 1937 with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in "Shall We Dance".

It was located adjacent to the Westover Palace Cinema, which closed the night before the new Westover Super opened. Designed in a striking Art Deco style, seating was arranged for 1,605 in the stalls and 910 in the circle levels. The cinema was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/6Rank theatre organ which was opened by noted organist Reginald Porter-Brown. There was also a restaurant and a balcony cafe for the convenience of patrons.

On 31st May 1951, the World Premiere of the British musical film "Happy Go Lovely" starring Vera Ellen & David Niven was held at the Westover Cinema. The premiere was attended by film stars Bebe Daniels, Ben Lyon, Googie Withers and music hall artist George Robey. Also in 1951, the UK Premiere of the MGM film "Showboat" starring Howard Keel was held here. In March 1958, the Westover Cinema was re-named ABC.

On 24th September 1969, the ABC was closed for twinning, re-opening on 13th June 1970 with 644 seats in the former circle (ABC 1 which is equipped for 70mm presentations) and 982 seats in the former stalls (ABC2). The re-opening films were "Paint Your Wagon" and "All the Way Up". The cinema had been given a ‘modern’ look in both auditoriums, with curtained walls and ‘modern’ new facade over the entrance hid the original Art Deco style frontage.

The ABC 2 screen was closed in January 1973 for twinning and re-opened on 19th April 1973 with seating for 587 and 223 seats in a new ABC 3. The ABC was taken over by the Cannon Group and re-named Cannon in late-1983. In May 1992 it came under the control of MGM and was re-branded with that name.

This was not to last long and the name ABC returned to the building when a management buy-out was completed in 1996. In 2000 the ABC came under the control of Odeon Theatres Ltd. Odeon also operate the former Gaumont in the town. They closed the ABC on 4th January 2017 with a special screening of “Back to the Future”.

The place is massive and is like a maze, we must of been in there for a good 2 hours, a lot of interesting stuff in there despite most of it been gutted out. We were a bit on edge at first in there but once we knew was alone and didn't have to worry security or something turning up it was a fairly relaxed explore. The pictures I got are not that great as it was so dark in there.




28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Massive building along with the Odeon not far away from it Both these places have areas that have been closed off to the public for years and organ pits plus loads of original decorations hidden behind false walls ect By the look of all the vids on you tube of the recent explores these places need dedicated looks around spending a good 4 to 6 hours in each one of them but from what i've been told these places will not disappoint they are amazing and in some places pure time locks of history


Beauty isn’t always perfection
28DL Full Member
Decent report, well done for getting in, we did the Odeon last week but couldn't find a way into the ABC, went back today as I had my camera with me this time, revisited Odeon and found parts of it we missed last time, tried ABC again but realised that only way in is roof access then out through fire doors, unfortunately someone caught us going up the fire escape and booted us out, will go back again third time lucky :D

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Well done getting in, people always waiting for a chance to get in here. Nice one