O2 Academy, Bristol

Frogmore Street,
Bristol, BS1 5NA

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O2 Academy, Bristol

The ABC New Bristol Centre opened on 17th November 1966 with Omar Sharif in “Doctor Zhivago”. It was part of a large leisure complex operated by Mecca, which included an ice-rink, bingo club and dance hall nightclub and casino.

Built as a large single-screen cinema with the rear seating tiered above the projection box, equipped with DP70 projectors and a very large curved screen, it often featured 70mm road show presentations. Publicity in Pathe News described it as "The Cinema of Tomorrow-today".

Twinned in September 1980 by dividing the auditorium with a vertical wall created two smaller screens seating 411 and 301. It was re-named Cannon in around 1986. Later taken back by ABC, it was among twenty of their cinemas which were announced for closure in late-1997.

In Autumn 1999, it was announced the empty building would be converted into a live music venue, to open by December 1999. It was de-twinned, and first known as a nightclub named Rock, it later became the Bristol Academy, then the Carling Academy, and today it is known as the O2 Academy.

Contributed by Geoff

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm

A vintage photograph from opening week in 1966:
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As a twin in 1981:
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ABC 1 auditorium:
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ABC 2 auditorium:
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