Plans to reopen the Belmont Cinema have taken a further step forward with the appointment of architects to breathe new life into the historic picturehouse.

Belmont Community Cinema, chosen by Aberdeen City Council in September 2023 as preferred operator for the Belmont, has chosen architecture and interiors firm Tinto to re-design the cinema for a new audience. Tinto previously worked on the initial concept designs as part of the Belmont charity group's successful proposal.

The Herald: An artist's impression of the new cafe-barAn artist's impression of the new cafe-bar (Image: Tinto)

“We have been very impressed with the Tinto team over the past few months we have worked together," Belmont Community Cinema trustee Jacob Campbell said.

"They have demonstrated a similar passion for the project, shown a deep-rooted understanding of the significance of the Belmont, its place within Aberdeen, and the steps required to preserve its future, whilst honouring its past.”

Richard Tinto, founder and chief executive of the eponymous architecture firm, said securing the contract was gratifying on several levels.

“The Belmont Cinema has a hugely important role to play in nurturing and sustaining the cultural heartbeat of Aberdeen, as part of a campaign to regenerate the city centre while retaining its heritage," he said.

"As a proud Aberdonian, I’m thrilled that Tinto has been appointed as a key player in preserving the Belmont as a classic cinematic experience for filmgoers, but also cementing its position as a community and educational hub for many years to come."

He added: “We passionately believe that our job as architects and designers is to create places and spaces which enhance the lives of the people who use and inhabit them, and respond sensitively to their cultural, social and environmental settings. The Belmont Cinema project is an opportunity for us to showcase these values in the process of reviving a much-loved, high-profile venue.”

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In addition to Tinto, industry expert Rob Kenny has been appointed to project manage the refurbishment. Having been Curzon Cinema’s director of cinema and operations for 15 years, he now works as a consultant for Mustard Studio.

"Aberdeen deserves a first-class independent cinema, and I am beyond excited to be part of the talented team bringing this prestigious cinema back to life," Mr Kenny said.

The refurbished Belmont Cinema will showcase independent and world cinema and will include both a new-look cafe/bar and a community engagement space on the top floor to support the next generation of filmmakers.