First look inside historic cinema's new-look foyer and box office
PUBLISHED: 00:01 10 October 2019
Cinema goers have been given a first look inside a Bury St Edmunds picturehouse which has recently completed the first stage of an exciting new expansion bringing two brand new screens to the town.
Abbeygate Cinema in Hatter Street is part way through a new six-figure renovation, converting the adjoining bingo hall into a 300-seater auditorium as well as a smaller corporate screen taking the total number of screens to four.
The stage one development sees a new area joining through to the existing cinema and restaurant.
Chris Peters, Project Manager for Abbeygate Cinema said: "We've done some huge construction work round the back of the building. We've turned round the fire exits and basically freed up a lot of space then joined it up to the entrance to the bingo hall.
"We are really excited that our long-standing plans are finally coming to fruition, and that customers can now see the first part of our exciting development plans come alive."
After temporary closure, the new area is due to reopen again on Friday, October 11.
Moving forward, there are a series of refurbishments planned for the existing cinema and restaurant, to update and bring the décor in-line with the contemporary feel of the new foyer area and then the focus will be on the future phases planned.
Andrea Holmes, marketing manager for Abbeygate Cinema added: "We're excited to see this lovely new space open and we hope customers will appreciate the larger foyer area and that it enhances their visit with us.
"We have been amazed by the support our Building Blocks Fundraising Campaign has been given where the public can donate to the cause and if anyone is further inspired to help with the planned expansion going forward now that Phase One is complete, details can be found on the website."
Despite the recent milestone, the new screens are still a while away from opening. Meanwhile, the current cinema and No4 Restaurant & Bar will be open for business during most of the building work, but occasionally may need to open later and limit audience capacities.
Abbeygate Cinema is in the heart of the historic market town and screens a strong mix of arthouse, independent and quality mainstream films.