SOUTHAMPTON’S Cineworld will close next month, putting more than 20 jobs at risk, it has been announced.

The shock decision was revealed on social media yesterday morning as the Cineworld Cinemas Twitter account shared the news about its Ocean Village premises.

After originally opening nearly 30 years ago, the cinema will close for the last time on August 9 this year.

Martin Floyd, Cineworld Southampton’s general manager, said: “We’re sad to confirm that after almost 30 years in the community, Cineworld Southampton is closing on August 9, 2018.

“We have loved being a part of the Southampton community and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal customers and staff.

“Cineworld Southampton will continue to show all the latest movies, Unlimited screenings and blockbusters right up until it closes.

“We will keep our customers updated and share further details when they are confirmed.”

Mr Floyd said a 30-day consultation period had begun to decide the future of 21 employees at the site.

Daily Echo readers were saddened by the news, with many posting their fond memories of the cinema.

One wrote: “I worked there for 17 years, mainly as a projectionist.

“The good old days, lots of good memories. Sorry Cineworld, did you not check out Showcase down the road? Days were indeed numbered.”

Another said: “No way –that’s the only cinema my son will go to. He’s autistic and we’ve tried the other cinemas. He just doesn’t like them.”

One made a prediction, writing: “Cineworld will either be converted to offices, luxury apartments, or some upmarket eateries.”

The cinema was originally opened by Cannon in December 1989 and changed hands a number of times.