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Abbeygate opens premier screen on Friday with Eva Green’s Euro-space drama

PUBLISHED: 19:00 29 July 2020

Managers Pat Church and Chris  Peters outside the Abbeygate Cinema which has just added a premier screen to the venue  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Managers Pat Church and Chris Peters outside the Abbeygate Cinema which has just added a premier screen to the venue Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

While other cinemas are just starting to re-open this weekend, Abbeygate Cinema, in Bury St Edmunds, is seizing the opportunity to open a brand new auditorium, bringing the Hatter Street venue up to three screens.

Pat Church and Chris Peters try out the luxury seats in the premier screen at the Abbeygate Cinema Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPat Church and Chris Peters try out the luxury seats in the premier screen at the Abbeygate Cinema Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The new premier screen has 180 seats, along with several sofas, is equipped with a state-of-the-art 4k laser projection system, 7.1 surround sound and has plush velvet curtains to give the auditorium that luxury feel. This sense of ‘picture palace’ grandeur will be enhanced further later this year when three crystal chandeliers will be installed in time for Christmas.

This latest addition to the independent Bury St Edmunds cinema has been created in the area formerly occupied by the bingo hall and is part of a larger development which has seen the layout of the box office and the foyer altered to offer greater ease of entry during busy periods and allow better access to the restaurant and bar areas.

The new screen was given a mid-week test run to say thank you to cinema staff and to the contractors who have been working in difficult conditions during the pandemic in order to finish the work safely.

Andrea Holmes, for Abbeygate Cinema, said: “The premier screen will give us much more flexibility about what we can programme and when we can programme it. Clearly, we didn’t expect to be launching a new screen in the wake of a global pandemic but having that extra screen does mean that we can offer a greater choice of films, we can offer more independent and British-made films, which Bury audiences love, as well as the bigger blockbusters.

Pat Church and Chris Peters in front of the brand new screen at the Abbeygate Cinema Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPat Church and Chris Peters in front of the brand new screen at the Abbeygate Cinema Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“It’ll give us the opportunity to show a more diverse range of films and hopefully get some films earlier, keep others for longer because we will be able to move them between screens over the course of several weeks.

“Also, it allows us to be able to take a more active role in events like the Bury Festival, maybe screen some more documentaries which have become increasingly popular.”

She said that the premier screen atmosphere will hopefully entice people away from their televisions and streaming services. “It will give going to the cinema that sense of occasion again. We have a huge curved screen, the plush curtains, the luxury seats and a wonderful projection system, it will remind film-lovers that going to see a movie on the big screen is a magical experience – something which is impossible to replicate.”

The premier screen opens on Friday July 31 with Proxima starring Eva Green as the only female astronaut training for a year-long mission with the European Space Agency. Details of Abbeygate’s programme and booking system can be found online.


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