Work underway on £150,000 refurb

PUBLISHED: 15:04 28 July 2015

Ritz cinema in Victoria Street, Burnham.

Ritz cinema in Victoria Street, Burnham.

Archant

A £150,000 expansion including a third screen has been given the go-ahead at a Burnham cinema.

The Ritz Cinema in Victoria Street was given the green light by Sedgemoor District Council to press on with plans for a new 72-seat screen, due to open in October, following a new agreement between Ritz Social Club, which owns the building, and the cinema owners.

The plans were first unveiled in February, and include the purchase of a new £50,000 projector for use in the new screen.

The cinema re-opened its doors in September 2004, following a £130,000 makeover, and can seat 115 people in its main screen, and 85 in its second.

It has been in the hands of Pat and Beryl Scott since that time, and celebrated its 10th anniversary under their stewardship last year.

Mr Scott told the Mercury: “We are hoping to be open by October as work has already begun, and we have had to close one of our screens to construct the pathway to the third.

“It will give us a real boost keeping popular films on longer.

“We are having to shelve Jurassic World this week, for instance, to make way for new films; it hasn’t even been out long, but we don’t have the space.

“We will also try to widen our alternative content because of having that extra room. It gives everyone some more choice.”

Mr Scott said plans for the new screen had been laid as early as two years ago, but he first had to convince the Ritz Social Club to allow him to use the space.

He said: “To compete with the big boys you need to have more screens. I decided to have a go because they have got a room at the very back of the club which was being used for other things, and kindly they eventually agreed to give me the space.

“It’s better for the social club because they are getting more rent, and for us to provide more choice. Really we would like to expand further, but there’s no room left.”

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