Cinema boost business in town

A LONG-awaited cinema complex has already boosted business in a Suffolk market town just two months after opening, it has been revealed.The state-of-the-art eight-screen Cineworld multiplex in Bury St Edmunds, which was launched in November along with three restaurants and two fast-food outlets, has not only become a hit with film-goers, but it has already brought other benefits to the town.

A LONG-awaited cinema complex has already boosted business in a Suffolk market town just two months after opening, it has been revealed.

The state-of-the-art eight-screen Cineworld multiplex in Bury St Edmunds, which was launched in November along with three restaurants and two fast-food outlets, has not only become a hit with film-goers, but it has already brought other benefits to the town.

Rick Wildridge, vice-chairman of the town's Chamber of Commerce, said: “It has got to be a boost for the town, as it saves people going to Ipswich or Cambridge. The food outlets also help contain people within Bury St Edmunds as it means there is something else on offer.

“The new cinema is definitely good for the town. It gives more choice to people in Bury, and I have not heard any bad feedback at all. People can now go and park in the multi-storey, as it is open until late now so customers do not have to wander around in the dark.

“Generally, from a chamber and personal point of view, it has got to be good for the town and we welcome it.”

Last night, the cinema's general manager, Steven Steele, said he was thrilled with the success of the complex.

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“We have had a lot of positive reports from customers, and although weekends are our busiest times, people have also been coming to watch films during the week, both day and night,” he said.

“We have had a few technical problems which you get with the opening of any new building, and the heating in one of the screens was broken for two days recently due to a fuse that kept blowing, but it is all fixed now.

“There are larger Cineworlds, some with 16 screens, but the smaller ones can have only six screens so we are middle of the range in terms of size, but we are able to show a wide range of films, from Hollywood blockbusters to art films.

“The number of visitors has levelled out slightly since we opened, but we are starting to recognise a few people who are becoming regular customers, so it is not just people coming once to try it out, people are coming back again and again.”

The cinema, on the town's Parkway, can cater for around 1,500 people, with its biggest auditorium housing 310 seats.

Since it opened, it has featured some of the hottest films around, including Harry Potter and King Kong, with Superman and X-Men 3 on their way later this year.

Rebecca Goodwright, manager of Ask restaurant, which opened at the complex, said: “It has been very well received. At the moment we are attracting just cinema customers but we would welcome anyone from the town, especially at lunch times.

“People have not yet grasped the concept that it is only a five minute walk from town, but we are getting busier.

“I think the town needed this. The feedback I have had is that this has been long awaited, and I think it has extended the town and not separated it.”

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