Next time you enjoy a gig at the Bristol Academy, shop in the top Co-op on the Gloucester Road in Bishopston or rent a flat from Ocean on North Street opposite the Tobacco Factory, spare a thought that these were once all old cinemas: the ABC, the Premier and the Plaza.

In years to come, beefcakes on the free weights or runners on the running machines in a 24-hour gym on Whiteladies Road might be clueless that once upon a time this was also a cinema, latterly an Odeon, opened in 1921 and closed in 1999.

Discussions about the future of the Whiteladies Picture House reached their end yesterday at a public enquiry in the Mansion House, where there was standing room only as the hearing concluded.

The enquiry heard from the developer who wants to convert the historic cinema into five flats and a gym, and objectors to the scheme who want the building to reopen as a cinema and community venue.

Planning inspector Richard McCoy is expected to make his judgement on the future of the site in the next few weeks.

Whiteladies Picture House

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