Ipswich: Town heading for cinema boost with IMax possibly on the way to Cineworld in response to Vue

IPSWICH could be heading for a new golden age of cinema if the Vue complex for the Buttermarket centre is given the go ahead.

The nine-screen cinema would almost double the number of commercial screens available in the town – there are 11 screens at the Cineworld on Cardinal Park.

There are also the two screens at the specialist-orientated Ipswich Film Theatre in the Corn Exchange complex.

The opening of the Vue would be a serious challenge to Cineworld, which opened in 1998. Since the Odeon on Major’s Corner closed in 2005 it has had a near monopoly on commercial releases in the town.

The Star understands that Cineworld is looking at making a significant investment in its Ipswich multiplex – although exact figures are commercially confidential it is understood to be one of the most profitable sites in the country.

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It is thought the company may be considering converting one or more screens into an IMAX cinema – with a huge screen surrounding the audience and immersing it in the on-screen action.

It is not thought that the company is looking at reducing the number of screens at the multiplex from the current 11, so it is thought that only the largest screen – Screen Six – would be converted if this does happen.

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The rest of the cinema is likely to be given a makeover with new carpets and seats.

No one from Cineworld was able to comment on its plans for Ipswich – but it is thought senior management are waiting for the borough to make its decision about Vue before making their announcement.

Any changes to Cineworld would not require planning permission – it is a purpose-built cinema and is set to remain that whatever happens.

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