'There's so much to be positive about' - New Bury cinema boss looks to future after Covid-19

Gareth Boggis, general manager of Abbeygate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds

Gareth Boggis, who has been appointed general manager of the Abbeygate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Abbeygate Cinema

The new boss of a popular Bury St Edmunds cinema has outlined his vision for the future as the business looks to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Gareth Boggis has been appointed general manager at Abbeygate Cinema, in Hatter Street, which re-opened in May following months of closure due to Covid-19

Mr Boggis, who previously worked at Bury's library and in retail, was front of house manager at the cinema during its recent expansion, and is hoping to drive the business on further in his new role.

He said: "‘It is a great privilege to take on the responsibility of general manager of Abbeygate Cinema, at a time of great change but with so much to be positive and optimistic about.

"While Covid has been a challenge, and I’m aware that we aren’t alone in struggling, it gave us a rare opportunity to stop and reflect on our future.

"I look forward to driving us on further, maintaining all those qualities but evolving Abbeygate to welcome a new generation of cinema goers into our new state-of-the-art premier screen.

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"With its 4K laser projector, it is, not just in my biased opinion, the best screen in East Anglia, let alone Suffolk.

"Allowing us to show Marvel films and blockbusters that we simply weren’t able to before, as well as these new films it will also enable us to enhance the experience of those visiting for our live shows."

Pat Church. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Pat Church, who is now semi-retired having been the face of the cinema for 50 years

Mr Boggis said it is "invaluable" to be able to call on the experience of Pat Church, who is now semi-retired having been the face of the cinema for 50 years, and that he is keen to carry on his predecessor's work. 

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"While I look to evolve the Abbeygate experience, we will not change and lose our identity, we are refocusing more than ever on showing the most diverse selection of films possible," Mr Boggis added. 

"Newly improved parent and baby screenings are back weekly, ‘Discover’ films return on a Tuesday, the previously popular ‘You pick it, we play it’ and we will have an enhanced ‘Pat's film Club’ featuring Pat Church. 

"It is invaluable to have the support and experience of Pat to call on. Nobody better reflects all the best qualities of Abbeygate like Pat and it is a source of great pride to carry on his work. 

"I want to ensure that Abbeygate Cinema remains an integral part of this community, shown by our use of local suppliers where we can, and we hope to form strong relationships locally.

"While there are lots of changes due in the near future, on a national level, I hope you will be assured that we will proceed with caution and take each step forward with your safety and the safety of my team at the forefront of my thinking."

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