The new James Bond film, Skyfall, has helped a theatre have a record-breaking weekend.

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The Regal Theatre in Stowmarket had its busiest weekend for more than 40 years with the release of the critically-acclaimed Bond film.

Hundreds of people flocked to the entertainment venue which has been growing since it suffered a setback in 2009 after it was hit by an arson attack.

Theatre manager David Marsh said: “With 1,290 admissions and lots of sold-out performances, it’s the busiest weekend of cinema we’ve had for over 40 years.

“Disappointingly we only just missed out on another record, the one for our busiest single day, which is still held by The King’s Speech, in January of this year.”

The theatre has been experiencing a rise in admissions and has been running at an operating profit for the first time since Stowmarket Town Council started running it in 1972.

For the years 2011/12 more than 52,000 people went to the Regal for one of its shows, which includes a film, theatre and live performance programme.

The number was an increase of 11,000 on the previous year.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a hit this year with more than 3,000 people seeing it.

Less than a decade ago the Regal struggled to get 8,000 people to visit.

Mr Marsh has said he would like to see a second screen built but, with cost of a digital projector at £60,000, it is expected it would not be built for at least a few years.

Skyfall has smashed UK records to give it the biggest opening weekend in James Bond film history.

The 23rd Bond film took £20.1million, notching the second biggest three-day opening for any film in the UK.

But Skyfall failed to topple the £23m UK record set last summer by Harry Potter’s finale in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Skyfall, which celebrates the 50th anniversary since the first James Bond film, Dr No, is running at the Regal until November 8. For more information and tickets go to www.regalstowmarket.co.uk

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