Arts & Entertainment Guide

8 Best Poole and Bournemouth Cinema Options

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8 Best Poole and Bournemouth Cinema Options

If the weather takes a turn for the worse or you just fancy a relaxed evening out, a Poole or Bournemouth cinema is a great choice. We are lucky in this area to have a few places to choose from too, so you can mix things up a bit. Here is our pick of the best cinemas in Poole, Bournemouth and the surrounding area.

Traditional multiplex cinemas:

These are the familiar main-stream cinemas that are found throughout the country. Reliably big with lots of screens and a wide selection of films and show times, you are sure to find something to see. They all have restaurants within the premises, so you can have something to eat before or after the film too.

1. Odeon BH2 Bournemouth Cinema, Town Centre

Odeon BH2 Bournemouth Cinema, Town Centre
Odeon BH2 Bournemouth Cinema, Town Centre

Recently built next to the Lower Gardens in central Bournemouth, this is a state of the art cinema. It has 10 screens, luxury reclining seats and, for small children, crèche screenings with a soft play at the front. Surrounded by bustling modern restaurants it makes a super all-round destination whatever the occasion.

2. Cineworld Tower Park Cinema, Poole

This cinema is located in an entertainment park with bowling alley and indoor splash park about 15 minutes drive from Poole town centre. It has a whopping 16 screens, and is next to many familiar restaurants too. At popular times it can be difficult to find parking, so is a good idea to factor this into your visit.

3. COMING SOON? Empire Cinema, Poole Town Centre

With plans announced in 2017, this would be a wonderful addition to Poole High Street and we hope it opens soon, although unfortunately planning permission expired in September 2021. Near Falkland Square, this new cinema is projected to have nine screens, four casual dining restaurants and even an open-air screen on the roof. Watch this space and keep fingers crossed.

Independent Cinemas

These are characterful local theatres and art centres that show arthouse films and also screenings of remote live events. Please read our article on great theatres and concert halls in Poole and Bournemouth for more information.

4. Lighthouse Cinema, Poole Town Centre

Recently refurbished, the Lighthouse is an performing arts centre and home of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. It has a 103 intimate cinema which shows a mixture of contemporary, independent and classic films throughout the year. In mid October it takes part in the Purbeck Film Festival.

5. Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne Minster

Built in the 1930s, lovingly restored in 1993 and delightfully faithful to the era. You can see a wide variety of films here and being based in central Wimborne means there is a wonderful selection of dining options at hand too.

6. Regent Centre Theatre, Christchurch

Similar to the Tivoli, The Regent is a restored 1930s Art Deco cinema (and now theatre) showing the very best in film and broadcasts in the centre of the town. Christchurch also has some excellent independent restaurants to try out.

7. Bournemouth Colosseum Theatre, Westbourne, Bournemouth

Billed as the UK’s smallest cinema, this 19-seater cinema is certainly an intimate affair with bags of character. Located in the architectural wonder of the Westbourne Arcade, this cinema shows classic, foreign, arthouse and even has themed weeks and party nights.

8. Shelley Theatre, Boscombe, Bournemouth

A 160-seat Victorian Grade II listed building which is in the process of being renovated. The theatre regularly shows independent, classic and arthouse films and a visit has the bonus of supporting a community project too.

That’s the end of our list, thank you for reading. Do you know of a Poole or Bournemouth cinema we have missed or information we could add? Feel free to get in touch and let us know.

Charlotte Craig

Charlotte Craig

Article Author was started up in 2017 by local resident Charlotte Craig. After graduating from Lancaster University in 2002 with a BA (Hons) in Computer Science, Charlotte has worked in the digital sector as a web developer and project manager for almost 20 years. See full biography...