Cinema vows to stay in town promising a £200k upgrade
PUBLISHED: 09:40 09 June 2014
ODEON bosses have quashed rumours the cinema will close and aim to beat off competition from Dolphin Square by spending £200,000 to drag Weston’s historic attraction into the 21st century.
Major refurbishment will be carried out in the coming months, with managers promising to preserve a quality cinema in the town, regardless of what happens at Dolphin Square, where a Cineworld is planned as part of a major development.
New seats will be installed, sound-proofing improved and an upstairs coffee shop built as part of the changes, while ticket prices will also be reduced.
William Poole, Weston ODEON’s senior cinema manager, said: “We don’t want to give people empty promises. We are fighting back to give the town what they want.
“All the feedback we are getting about it being too expensive, we are fixing that and bringing it up to the 21st century.
“So we are going to be reducing the pricing, yet improving the quality.
“Vue Cinemas has already pulled out (of Dolphin Square). We are promising to bring up our standards, as we feel we have a chance to fight off the competition.”
The Mercury revealed last week that developer McLaren Life had reported fresh Dolphin Square delays, with no work now scheduled to begin on the £50million project until the end of September.
However, while there have been long-standing fears that a newly-built cinema would jeopardise the ODEON’s future, bosses insist it will be staying put.
Dawn Fisher, general manager, said: “ODEON has committed to the cinema in Weston, and we can confirm we are here for the long run.
“We have reviewed the whole operation in Weston and we currently have a very loyal audience in the family market.
“In the last quarter of this year you will see large changes through investment in the building both internally and externally.
“We are also looking at reworking the current pricing structure to reward our loyal guests. We look forward to rewarding the local community, and are investing in the region of £200,000.”
It is hoped the work, which will include increasing leg room and installing new ticket machines, will be completed by September or October.