Blackwood cinema plans welcomed
10:46am Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Gwent news
PEOPLE and businesses in Blackwood have welcomed the news that a new cinema is set to open in the town centre next year.
A bingo hall on Blackwood’s high street is to be transformed into a new multiplex cinema after the building was purchased before it went to auction earlier this month.
A town council meeting was held in Blackwood last Tuesday where it was confirmed that the building would be handed over to Picturedrome Cinemas, based in Bognor Regis, when the Top Ten Bingo Blackwood is finally expected to close for business next month.
The building had initially been called for auction, but local firm Four Seasons Entertainment, who negotiated the deal on behalf of Picturedrome, were “determined” to secure its ownership.
The new cinema, which is set to feature at least four screens, is expected to open next spring or early next summer.
Councillor Nigel Dix said: “It’s wonderful news for Blackwood. Even in these times of economic hardship, Blackwood is bucking the trend.
“It just goes to show that Blackwood is capable of bringing in interest. It’s a vote of confidence and shows how much potential the town has.
“It’s unusual for it to be in the town centre as well so that will be another good thing for the footfall in Blackwood itself.”
Fellow Blackwood councillor Andrew Farina-Childs said he had not heard “a single negative comment” about the new proposals.
He said: “All the people I’ve spoken to, local residents and neighbours, think it’s fantastic that there will be a cinema coming to Blackwood after all these years.
“It is long overdue and something the town council had been pursuing for many years. It’s tremendous to have it in the town centre so hopefully it can attract business to Blackwood as well. They can’t wait for it to open.”
Georgina Howells, who runs local youth groups like Rainbow Guides and Brownies and works at Revival Hair Salon in Blackwood, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. Something is finally coming back for the children. Everyone I’ve spoken to agrees it’s brilliant.”
Alessandro Melardi, of Lui’s Plaice fish and chip shop on Blackwood’s high street, said: “We used to have one years ago. It saves me driving down to Nantgarw.”
Steve Reynolds, the owner of Four Seasons Entertainment which programs around 145 mainly independent cinemas across the country, said: “Hopefully there will be a minimum of four screens converted and we’re hoping to get them done by April or May next year.
“It’s something which we have followed closely for a while. It’s been difficult to get a site for this kind of thing so when this building became available I immediately contacted one of my clients.
“What’s important to point out is that it’s rare for a cinema complex like this to be in the town centre rather than on the outskirts as they often are these days.”
He added: “At least two screens will have 200 or 300 seats so it’s not going to be small. There is a large catchment area as well, and it will create many local jobs, so there is no reason why it shouldn’t be a success.”
Top Ten Bingo has asked not to divulge any information on the amount of money involved in the handover of the building. But the transformation is expected to cost in the region of £750,000.
Comments are closed on this article.