Plans go in for three screen cinema in Downham Market

Former Regent Cinema 41/43 High Street Downham Market ANL-150415-130547009
Former Regent Cinema 41/43 High Street Downham Market ANL-150415-130547009
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Downham could once more be getting its own cinema thanks to new plans.

Martin Reynolds Construction is hoping to restore the former Regent Cinema to its former glory.

The Downham-based firm is holding talks to work with the owners of the popular Luxe Cinema in Wisbech on the plans to convert the building back into a three screen cinema. There are also hopes for a wine bar.

A planning application has been lodged with West Norfolk Council for the building, which has stood empty for a number of years.

News of the application has been welcomed by Downham mayor John Doyle.

He said: “It will be a good thing for the town. People will be able to go to the latest films. The only reservation I have is that we do run a community cinema in the town hall.”

The cinema, built in 1928, has been empty for six years and had previously been used as an antique emporium.

The owners have cleaned up the building and are now hoping to move onto the next stage.

Within the application’s design and access statement, the applicants state that a mezzanine floor has divided the main auditorium, which could house two of the screens. The third could be created within the original upper gallery area.

This document states: “The new seating areas are widely spaced with ample comfortable armchairs and layouts arranged to provide good sight lines to the screens.”

The firm is also planning to retain the domed entrance foyer and the sweeping staircases to preserve the original character of the building.

A ticket counter along with a kiosk for popcorn and drinks are also proposed in the foyer.

The wine bar is proposed for the front of the building.

The design and access statement says: “It is assumed that use of the substantial main town car park on Paradise Road, which is approximately four minutes walking distance away from the cinema will be acceptable.”

News of the application has been welcomed by traders and residents in Downham.

Simon Prior, of the Town Team, said: “I think it is really positive and I am so pleased that the building is going to be used. It is re-invigorating another part of the High Street and preserving our heritage.”