Admissions up in first four months at Stowmarket’s Regal Theatre

The Regal Theatre.

The Regal Theatre. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk town’s theatre has announced record admission figures for the first four months of the financial year.

Stowmarket Town Council’s Regal Theatre saw 18,000 admissions between April and July, an increase of almost 1,400 over the same period last year.

Manager of the Regal, David Marsh, said: “April, May and June are usually the quietest months of the year for all cinemas, so I’m especially pleased with our results.

“Although nothing has been stand out superb, we’ve done really well with lots of films.

“It’s more exciting than perhaps it would be because there’s not been a huge film out in that time.

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“We know later in the year there is amazing stuff like the new James Bond film and Star Wars, as well as Suffragette, which we think will do well here.

“We weren’t expecting it to be at this stage already.

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“It shows people are choosing to come to us.”

Mr Marsh added that it was not only due to the cinema that audiences were up, citing the success of Stowmarket Operatic and Dramatic Society’s Sweet Charity, that was sold out for almost every performance.

The figures come as the town council continues to make progress with plans for improving the venue, with a proposal currently being considered for the construction of a second auditorium, exclusively for cinema use.

The record admission figures are another in the list of recent successes for the town’s entertainment venue.

During the 2014/15 financial year it enjoyed its busiest year on record, with almost 59,000 admissions, a tenfold increase in the last decade.

Mr Marsh said plans wouldn’t be stopped despite possible competition from the plans to create a 16-screen Empire Cinema in Ipswich’s Buttermarket.

Mr Marsh added: “It’s fantastic news that things are moving forward with the expansion project.

“By having a second screen we will be able to show more films and for longer periods – that’s good for everyone.

“Admissions have grown year on year for the past eight years and we’ve already enjoyed over 70 sellout performances in 2015.

“These works will help to ensure that the Regal continues to meet the needs of our loyal customers and we hope to be able to give some more details in early autumn.”

Stowmarket Town Clerk, David Blackburn, added: “We know how much the Regal Theatre means to local people and the Town Council is willing to invest in its future.”

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