Clacton: Cinema could open at seaside theatre

Princes Theatre, Clacton

Princes Theatre, Clacton - Credit: Contributed

PLANS are afoot to develop a new cinema after Clacton’s last remaining film theatre was closed last year.

Tendring District Council’s cabinet are set to discuss plans to invest in a cinema facility at the Princes Theatre in Clacton following the closure of Flicks in Pier Avenue in November.

The proposal was developed after a one-off historical film was shown at Princes Theatre with dozens of people attending the screening.

Peter Halliday, Tendring District Council’s portfolio holder for finance and assets, said: “After the success of the one-off film we thought we would do some exploratory work and from our initial investigation there seems to be a business case to make the cinema a viable proposition.”

As well as providing a community cinema for Clacton and the surrounding area, the film theatre would enhance the local tourism offer and re-establish the provision of a facility expected at a seaside tourist destination.

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The project, which would serve more than 60,000 people, would cost around £50,000, funded from the council’s asset refurbishment/replacement reserve.

It would include making alterations to Princes Theatre and the purchase of a range of equipment that would last up to 15 years. Mr Halliday added: “Clearly there’s a requirement for a cinema in Clacton and we can operate at a cheaper price.

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“We think we can make a business case for it.”

The business case shows an average audience of 150 customers attending six showings per month would result in a return on the investment in less than four-and-a-half years.

The proposed pricing structure would see children charged £5.50 each and adults £6.25.

Officers have recommended the approval of the project and the proposal will be discussed at Friday’s Tendring District Council cabinet meeting.

If approved and the cinema is successful, opportunities to develop the film theatre further could include themed nights such as arts films and Saturday morning cinema, screening live sporting events, selling popcorn and hot snacks and investing £10,000 in 3D equipment.

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