Majority feel Bury St Edmunds has enough cinemas

Debenhams in the Arch shopping centre is due to close soon

There are plans for part of the former Debenhams in the Arc shopping centre to become a cinema - Credit: Johnny Griffith

The majority of voters who took part in our poll on whether Bury St Edmunds needs another cinema feel two is enough.

Our survey found 89% of 444 respondents feel there isn't a need for another cinema in the town, which already has a Cineworld and Abbeygate Cinema.

The results revealed 11%, equating to 50 people, believe there should be another such venue. 

We ran the survey, which began on February 18, following the submission of plans for an Everyman cinema in the basement of the former Debenhams at the Arc shopping centre.

A supporting statement with the planning application said: "Everyman aims to provide an unbeatable cinema experience in high quality and unique venues and would add a new dimension to existing cinema outlets in the town centre."

Gareth Boggis, of Abbeygate Cinema

Gareth Boggis, of Abbeygate Cinema - Credit: Abbeygate Cinema

Speaking previously, Gareth Boggis, general manager of Abbeygate Cinema, said they remain optimistic, but added: "There could be a concern from any of the three cinemas that potentially over-screening could mean that all the offers are compromised.

"There are only so many visits per head of population and Bury is a small town already served by 11 screens."

The Mayor of Bury St Edmunds Peter Thompson said he would welcome bringing any empty space back into productive use, but wants assurances "there is sufficient demand for additional cinema space and that our healthy independent cinema provision would not be put in jeopardy".

The application by Bury WM Unit Trust says the proposal would "enable the introduction of a new cinema operator extending choice and convenience" and would "promote the vitality and viability of the town centre by securing a leisure and entertainment use within the primary shopping area".

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A total of 15 full-time and 15 part-time jobs would be created, it added.

Boutique cinema chain Everyman has more than 36 venues and the business is continuing to grow, the application said.