A CINEMA opened its doors to the public on Friday, marking the end of a long campaign to bring a big screen to Abergavenny.

Independent cinema operators Peter and Irene Davies recognised a ten-year ambition to open a cinema in the town when they opened the two-screen facility in the former Drill Hall in Baker Street.

The first film screened on Friday was Iron Man II, just one week after national release.

The couple, who own the Coliseum Cinema in Brecon and the Palace Cinema in Havefordwest, began work to convert the Victorian building into a cinema in September last year. It has a total capacity of just under 300 seats and is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and has disabled access.

Mrs Davies, of Brecon, believes they are the first independent operators to open a new cinema in Wales for 20 years.

"We have wanted to open a cinema in the town for ten years and are thrilled we have now been able to do it," said Mrs Davies.

The facility has created ten jobs for local people and will run both screens six nights a week.

"We have had great support from local people and the response has been phenomenal," she added.

The official opening takes place on Monday May 17 with the screening of Sherlock Holmes in front of an invited audience.

Other films due to be screened during the coming week include Clash of the Titans, Robin Hood and Nanny Mcphee and the Big Bang.