Cinema reeling to success

STOWMARKET'S under-threat cinema and theatre is secure - as record numbers flock in to escape from the miserable weather and the worries of the world.The 1930s-vintage Regal Theatre complex in the centre of Stowmarket was facing closure during 2005 as it was revealed it was running at a loss of £47,000 a year.

STOWMARKET'S under-threat cinema and theatre is secure - as record numbers flock in to escape from the miserable weather and the worries of the world.

The 1930s-vintage Regal Theatre complex in the centre of Stowmarket was facing closure during 2005 as it was revealed it was running at a loss of £47,000 a year.

Now Stowmarket Town Council, which owns the art deco building, has been advised by its town clerk Malcolm Baker that crowds of people are attending after a massive make-over.

Mr Baker, who gave a report to councillors during a meeting in their chambers in Milton Road South on Wednesday evening , said: “During August cinema attendance at the Regal topped 2,500 and this was the best monthly figure for ten years.


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“This followed the record figures in July for Mamma Mia! The inconsistent weather is thought to have had an effect but according to out records similar weather prevailed in 2007. In the financial year, five months, the cinema audience was in excess of 11,500, 47per cent up on 2007.”

The 1930s traditional independent complex has been made-over in a period style and there is even a terrace in front of the property to help encourage a café culture.

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Anne Whybrow, town mayor, said: “It makes my heart glow, this is wonderful. The managers we have got there have worked hard, we are getting the right films in, and people who have not seen the inside of the theatre for 30 or 40 years are coming back.

“We have ladies coming from Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury and beyond who attend regularly every week, see their film, and have a nice cup of tea or drink in the bar area.

“It's not part of chain, it's a community spirited venue, the way theatres should be. We have invested phenomenally in refurbishing the building, the whole site has been upgraded with new seating and carpets.

“The bar area has also been revamped, the sound system improved, one of the projectors updated too. It is yet another happening place in Stowmarket. It's one of our facilities and its future is secure as far as we are concerned.”

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