Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: £1m work completed at historic Abbeygate Picturehouse

10:10 26 November 2012

Re-opening of Abbeygate Picture house in Hatter Street, Bury, following a full refurbishment. Left to right, Jonathan Carpenter (assistant manager) and Pat Church (manager).

Re-opening of Abbeygate Picture house in Hatter Street, Bury, following a full refurbishment. Left to right, Jonathan Carpenter (assistant manager) and Pat Church (manager).

Archant

WORK at a famous building, costing up to £1million, has been completed and is set to turn it into a major cultural centre.

shares

Abbeygate Picture House, in the historic core of Bury St Edmunds, has been through ups and downs, including coming close to closing down.

But it is hoped new facilities following the completion of a two-year refurbishment project will secure its future for many years to come. The cinema, in Hatter Street, now has a new bar, cafe and restaurant, a function room, new toilets, disabled facilities, including a lift, and new entrance and internal layout.

Manager Pat Church, who started working at the cinema as a projectionist in 1966, said it was “just like winning an Oscar” to see the work completed.

The cinema attracts audiences from far and wide with some coming from Essex and Bedfordshire.

“We are so busy now and the work has transformed the cinema and we want to make it a complete evening out for customers, that’s the main aim and we can now do that.

“People travel up to 40 and 50 miles to visit us and we are now in a position to be a major cultural centre of Bury St Edmunds.”

Films are shown seven days a week at the complex which employs 15 staff including Mr Church.

“The work has helped secure the future of the cinema. It’s been a long time coming and the investment bodes well for us,” he added.

Opening in Hatter Street in 1924 as a large 900-seat auditorium, it was a mix of music hall, live shows, and film interludes. In 1930 a fire forced the Central – as it was known then – to turn into a full-time cinema, becoming the Abbeygate Cinema in 1959.

Not so long ago, when it was known as the Hollywood Cinema, it was earmarked for closure, but in 2010 it was taken over by Picturehouse Cinemas and became Abbeygate Picture House.

Mr Church said that going to the cinema would “no longer be a quick in and out event,” and the bar, cafe and restaurant would also be open to non-cinemagoers.

shares

0 comments

Aerial shot of Bury St Edmunds - St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Angel Hill.

A child has been taken to West Suffolk Hospital after a collision with a car.

How much election trivia do you know?

Campaigning is being notched up a gear this week as the election candidates in Suffolk build up to the big day.

A huge 30m elm tree on Park Drive in Worlingham which has severely damaged two properties and caused minor damage to another. The base of the tree.  Picture: James Bass

Firefighters were called to three bungalows in Worlingham, near Beccles, after a tree fell through the roof of one and damaged others in the early hours of this morning.

Queen Street, Ipswich.

A teenage girl has reported being threatened and raped in an alleyway in the Queen Street area of Ipswich.

Ipswich Crown Court

A Suffolk nightclub owner who shoved a man in the chest causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the pavement has been jailed for four years for manslaughter.

Police and Crime Commissioner says no cause for alarm over cuts

Suffolk residents will suffer as cuts to the county’s police force continue to bite, according to the chairman of the Suffolk Police Federation.

Priti Patel meets Joey Essex during tonight's show. Picture: ITV/Lime Pictures.

Reality TV celebrity Joey Essex tries to bring politics to a simpler level.

Police were at the scene

Two pedestrians have suffered minor injuries in a collision with a lorry in Sudbury.

Port of Felixstowe

Operation Stack has been put in place at the Port of Felixstowe as strong winds are striking the port.

Drink-driver in court

A self-employed Ipswich floor fitter has lost his livelihood after crashing into another car while nearly three times the drink-drive limit and then driving off.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages