The Cine 2000 was a variation of the popular Cine 180 attraction, which saw a film projected onto one half of the dome's interior whilst spectators stood towards the centre of the room, meaning the edges of the action were just outside the periphery of their field of view. This helped absorb the spectators into the film by tricking the brain into thinking it was in the same position as the camera.
To capitalise on the effect of the projection, the films used were typically motion based with the camera mounted onto a variety of moving vehicles, whether that be as part of a car chase, a helicopter journey or even a rollercoaster ride. This lead to quite a disorientating experience for the audience, who had no means to steady themselves as they stood and followed the dynamic movements on the screen surrounding them.
During the 1980s the distinctive Cinema Dome became an extremely common site across the country, with almost every amusement park having at least one, if not more. Whilst the primary use of the domes were for the three Cines (180, 360 and 2000), others became home to other types of show or even as a quick way to put a ride indoors. A good example of this was Thorpe Park, where one dome housed Cap'n Andy's Revue whilst the other was a Cine 180, which was later converted for use as the park's Dare Devil Drivers, bumper car attraction.
The Life & Times
The Cine 2000 premièred at the park in 1980 as part of the first wave of amusement park development. Built alongside the Pirate Ship and Dinosaur World, it formed part of the Springfield Centre, which was located on one of the former coach parks.
As with most cinema attractions it boasted a very high throughput with at least three sittings each hour, which had the unfortunate side effect that short queue times could often allow guests who had just ridden the Pirate Ship directly into the cinema. The cinema therefore soon became notorious for the unfortunate outcome when the stomach churning effect of the swinging ship combined with the disorientation of the cinema and took their toll on unwary guests.
The popularity of the attraction lead to park investing in a Cine 360 a few years later. The new cinema projected images onto the entire interior of its dome, yet despite essentially being an upgrade to the Cine 2000, the Cine 360 was not as popular as its older counterpart, closing after only fours seasons to become the 3D Cinema.
What happened next...
The Cine 2000 continued to project guests into unusual situations until the early 90s, when it became victim to the legendary Tussauds' axe. In its earlier years Tussauds' philosophy was very much geared towards offering guests real experiences, rather than just showing an experience on film; a case in point being Chessington World of Adventures, which is one of the few UK parks never to have featured a cinema attraction.
The Cine 2000 simply did not fit with this philosophy (whilst also no longer representing the cutting edge of film technology), and so at the end of 1992 the dome came down and the cinema's foundations became home to the Astro-Dancer for the 1993 season.
But the story didn't end there... and from being a common sight in almost every park across the country, the Cinema Dome soon fell out of favour during the 1990s and over the course of the decade almost all the iconic structures disappeared one by one.
As had been the case at Alton, the shape of the concrete footprint left by the cinemas meant flat rides were often an easy replacement for the domes, with similar domes at both Drayton Manor and Thorpe Park later becoming the home to Enterprises. In a remarkable twist, the site once occupied by Alton Towers' Cine 2000 (in X Sector) is also now occupied by the Enterprise, although the ride was not moved there until some years later.
The fate of the Cinema Domes in the UK is mapped out nowhere better than at Alton Towers, with the Cine 2000 not only being one of the first built, but also one of first domes to come down. Equally, one of the last remaining domes was also located at Alton Towers, with the park's 3D Cinema structure surviving right through to 2008, when it made finally way for Sharkbait Reef.