Cinema plans revealed by town manager

ROYSTON FIRST’s Geraint Burnell has revealed details of the plans for the Royston Community Cinema exclusively to The Crow.

The �200,000 project, funded by Business Improvement District Royston First and Royston Town Council, will include a full size screen, state of the art audio equipment and 3D capabilities.

Comfortable boutique-style seating, a licensed bar and disabled access are also planned for the project in the Town Hall.

But the venture will ensure that the 156-year-old building can still be used for Town Hall functions, as well as theatre and pantomime productions.

Mr Burnell said: “We are aiming to offer a luxury cinema experience to people, and are extremely excited about this project.

“We want to be positive about this as it will be fantastic for the town and provide a social centre that is unique. This is the third year of Royston First and a major project for us.”

Mr Burnell said that Royston First is committed to providing the technology side of things, while the Town Council will work on the refurbishment of the building.

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“The screen, projector, audio and seating will all be sorted by Royston First, and will all be totally state-of-the-art. The screen will by the full size of the arch on the stage and will be 3D ready, and the sound will be digital,” he said.

“We also need to add ceiling-to-floor deep red curtains to black it out, and need to soundproof the building too.

“Hopefully the Town Council can work on the refurbishment of the building, including the dressing rooms for theatre use and things that need tidying up.”

However, the project will not see the cessation of the building as the Town Hall, and will also be used for theatre productions.

“We want to ensure that the seating can easily be removed for functions and that rows of seats can be put in for when pantomimes take place here and we can get more people in,” said Mr Burnell.

“Around 50 sofas and comfortable seats will be used for cinema viewings and tables will be put with them for people to put their drinks on.

“The balcony is a big advantage too, and we will be ripping up the old seats and putting newer, more spacious ones in.”

Mr Burnell expected cinema nights to run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, with showings during the day at weekends.

Films will be shown around eight weeks after their general release with “oldies” to also be on offer.

Part of the inspiration came when Mr Burnell took Town Councillors to a similar cinema in Saffron Walden.

“We liked the Saffron Screen so much we thought we would build one ourselves,” he said.

“I am going to see the King’s Speech there next week, so it’s not too far behind with regards releases. They have a fantastic facility and we want one ourselves.”

Mr Burnell said he hopes the project will be completed this year.

“We want to do it within the year but it depends on what we hit between now and then.

“We will be moving as swiftly as we can but the correct process must be followed.”