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Bellaria Cinema: reopening delayed – wien.ORF.at

Bellaria Cinema: reopening delayed – wien.ORF.at

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Films have not been shown on screen in one of the city's oldest cinemas for five years. The reopening of the Bellaria Cinema behind the Folks Theater will also be postponed. It is not expected to reopen until the fall at the earliest.

There is no trace of the smell of popcorn or the flickering of films in the venerable Bellaria cinema. The cinema in the new building has been closed since 2019, almost five years. The reopening is already planned for the end of 2022. But the project, backed by city money and a crowdfunding campaign, is experiencing major delays.

The cinema behind the Volkstheater will undergo a complete renovation including sound insulation, a new ventilation system and new projection technology. The planned reopening date has been pushed back further and further. According to operators around Votiv Cinema President Michael Steskal, reopening is not expected in the spring as previously planned, but in late fall.

“Technical implementation is more complex than expected”

At the request of Vienna Radio, operators point out a series of unfortunate circumstances. The construction itself is now well advanced. But the main problem is the technical implementation of the owner's specifications.

“Implementing the owner’s requirements based on the existing use permit has proven to be much more complex in terms of technical implementation than originally anticipated,” Stejskal, Bellaria’s future operator, lamented. The effort is underestimated here.

Replanning, for example regarding air conditioning, has become necessary. Final details still need to be clarified with the homeowner. “Once this is completed, the remaining renovation procedures can finally be implemented quickly,” Stejskal said. If it does not open in the fall as well, the future of the more than 100-year-old cinema will be uncertain.

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