Abbey Cinema Opens – everything is possible

December 21, 2018

Abbey Cinema Opens
The Abbey Cinema opened today and has a full programme of films.
Abbey Cinema Opens
The Abbey Hall has been transformed with all round sound, a ten meter screen, tiered cinema seating at the back, and tables with swivel chairs at the front where people can enjoy drinks and light meals from the Guildhall kitchen. The white walls and windows are darkened with full length curtains.
Abbey Cinema Opens
The Abbey Cinema will act as Screen 1 with the Unicorn Theatre as Screen 2. A full programme of films can be seen at

Ian and Sue Wiper, who run the The Evesham Regal, approached Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council earlier in the year with this proposed use for the Abbey Hall – empty since 2015. The two parties have since been working together to make this project happen. The cinema will be there for a couple of years as part of the initial agreement.

The first film is Mary Poppins Returns‘everything is possible, even the impossible‘.

Filed under: Events

13 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Crispy P  |  December 21, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Well done to everyone involved. I hope the venture goes really well. We’re certainly looking forward to going along.

  • 2. Iain  |  December 21, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Just back from watching Mary Poppins. Well done Sue and Ian – great evening and a wonderful facility for the town. Thoroughly recommend a visit to anyone who likes films.

  • 3. ppjs  |  December 22, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Great news!

  • 4. Julian Annells  |  December 23, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Whilst I applaud the owners for getting this up and running, I fear it may not get used to its full capacity for very long. It is £11.00 for an adult, (plus I believe, a booking fee!), whereas Vue Oxford now charges £4.99 each for all films on any day. A family of 4 is £19.96.
    Whilst I wouldn’t mind paying an extra 1 or 2 pound to support my local, I’m damned if I will pay over £12 extra for two of us, for the privelege.
    I’m sure there are those that will (And can afford to pay double), but for the majority it doesn’t make economic sense.
    And before you say you can walk to there, and don’t need to drive, or get a bus, at this end of town it is over a mile walk to get there or to the bus stop.

  • 5. SpringRdResident  |  December 24, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Excellent job by the Evesham Regal. We’ll be there as often as we can.

    Couldn’t disagree with Julian Annells and their inaccurate comparisons more…
    Cost is entirely comparable (actually a bit cheaper!) than the Odeon in Oxford, Picturehouse in Oxford and the Cineworld in Didcot for comparable showings. There’s a reason the Vue in Oxford is so cheap, it’s not desirable to visit an out of town cinema with nowhere nice close by to eat, drink or socialise. Weekends with the kids, perhaps. £11.00 is the cost at the Abbey for an evening show. It’s £7.25 per ticket for a family show.

    There are plenty of us thankful, and willing to pay, for a high end local facility. Now I hope that means enough through the door to make a case for a permanent facility.

  • 6. Crispy P  |  December 24, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    We went last night and it was great! The staff were enthusiastic and welcoming, the seats very comfortable and the screen/sound quality were excellent.

    This is a real asset to our town – we’ll be back again soon.

  • 7. Julian Annells  |  December 24, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    SpringRd/resident. How is my comparison inaccurate? I looked at the Mary Poppins film at 7pm ish. It is £4.99 per person at the Kassam, which does have food outlets in the same building! The same film at The Abbey was £11 plus a booking fee per person!
    Bully for you if you can afford a “high end” facility, but plenty can’t (or won’t) pay twice the price for the same film.

  • 8. Patricia  |  December 24, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    I think you need to add in the cost of getting to the Kassam. Not to mention the effort! Give me local every time.

  • 9. Julian Annells  |  December 24, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    About 60p worth of fuel? It would cost me more than that from North Abingdon to the town centre by the time I’ve sat in traffic!

  • 10. SpringRdResident  |  December 25, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Julian – I’m saying your comparing a specific example of a low priced alternative, not all of the alternatives. The pricing at the Abbey is comparable to the majority of other offerings, so not an outlier or therefore ‘expensive’. It was not a balanced comparison.

    The analogy could go…you can buy a bottle of prosecco in Aldi or Lidl in Oxford, but the Waitrose in town is still full of people buying them for a bit more.

    Entirely personal choice. Much like what you choose you can ‘afford’ to spend on discretionary goods or activities. It’s entirely your choice to drive 5 miles to go to the cinema and save a few quid. Many, as evidenced by the busy cinemas in the centre of Oxford (and hopefully Abingdon), will choose convenience and luxury over price, especially when the cost is comparable to the majority of alternatives.

    Frankie & Benny’s and a Chinese buffet don’t constitute something ‘nice nearby to eat, drink or socialise’. I’ve eaten at both and wouldn’t even think of either for something other than a cheap, cheerful and quick lunch. Personal choice I appreciate. Again…yes both sell food, but I wouldn’t expect the wife to be impressed if I took her there for date night!

  • 11. Julian Annells  |  December 26, 2018 at 12:26 am

    SpringRd/Resident. So are you saying that you would prefer to buy exactly the same bottle of Prosecco at Waitrose purely because of the name of the store? I find that incredible!
    And if I am going the the cinema, (rather than the theatre), then cheap, cheerful, quick lunch is exactly what I want?
    You obviously prefer the finer things in life..good for you. I just don’t believe in paying over the odds (which despite your protestations, you are paying way more than you would pay at one fairly local cinema, depsite others charging more).
    Much as I wanted Abingdon to have it’s own cinema, I would have preferred it to have been large enough to compete with the Vue’s and Cineworld’s, and to attract clientele in from surrounding villages/towns, and to bring extra footfall into the town. (Personally I would have liked to see a leisure centre, with maybe an indoor golf centre, (to replace the one we lost), and a venue that could have supported live bands/acts etc.).

  • 12. SpringRdResident  |  December 26, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Julian – You are of course right. I’ll take Mark Twain’s advice on this one and move on…

  • 13. David  |  December 31, 2018 at 10:27 am

    The Vue isn’t a cinema – it’s a series of large bins with TVs installed.

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