A look behind the scenes at Thetford’s new cinema
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Take a look behind the scenes of a new three-screen cinema which will be opening in Norfolk at the end of this week.
The Light Cinema in Thetford will be officially opening on Friday, December 2 and is preparing to welcome the community through its doors to see some of Hollywood's new releases.
Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Tom Hanks' latest blockbuster Sully are among the first on the bill.
On Monday a group including Breckland Council chairman Bill Borrett and Land Group director David Winch were shown around the new cinema, which will be able to seat nearly 300 people.
They also got a glimpse of the building's new café bar, which will be available for cinema customers and non-customers to use and is equipped with Wifi.
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The tour was led by brand manager at Light Cinemas, Phil Dove.
He said: 'Tickets are already on sale and are selling really well. We are hoping to be sold out for our first day and we could have up to 3,000 people visiting for our first weekend, which is fantastic.'
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All of the cinema's 18 staff live in Thetford with the exception of manager Simon Pinches, who formerly worked at The Light Cinema in Cambridge.
Two VIP screenings are being held at the cinema on Thursday – one for around 90 invited guests, and one for 21 children from local schools and their families, who were offered free tickets by Breckland Council.
Mr Dove is hopeful that community groups and film clubs will make use of the cinema, which will have access to the BFI's back catalogue.
He said: 'It will development enormously when people get into the idea – very quickly the community will start owning this.
'Cinema is great because everyone can find what they want and each screen is versatile.'
Thetford will be Light Cinema's seventh venue and its first in Norfolk. Three new cinemas are expected to open in the UK in 2017.
In a first for the company, which specialises in all-digital cinema, it is combining its screens in Thetford with a proper dining offering.
It forms part of Thetford's £8m Riverside development, which has taken 18 months to complete.
The project was delivered by Breckland Bridge, a partnership between Breckland Council and property developers The Land Group.
Bill Borrett, chairman of Breckland Council, said: 'It has made a huge difference to the heart of Thetford. It was a big risk for the council and has taken millions of pounds, but we wanted to do something for Thetford and looking at this you can see that it was all worth it.'
David Winch, director of The Land Group, said: 'Our role was to bring the plans to fruition within a time scale and to a budget and we are very pleased that we have achieved that.
'It is really satisfying to get to this point when the lights in the cinema are on and its doors are opening.
'Come the weekend, people will be here and enjoying it – that is where the real satisfaction comes from.'
The Light Cinema, Thetford
The new cinema will have 279 seats spread across three screens.
All screens are fitted with top of the range sound equipment and comfortable seats, with wine glass and bottle holders and ample leg room for taller customers.
The first films on show this weekend will be Sully, Moana and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, with an adult ticket price of £9 and a 10pc discount if customers book online.
The all digital cinema will have access to the BFI's film library to show older films alongside new releases.
Films will be shown from 11.30am on weekdays and 10am on weekends, and will finish at around midnight each night.
On the first floor, with the screens there will be a cinema counters, where viewers can purchase drinks and snacks.
The ground floor area is dominated by a café bar which will open from 10am until late, serving teas and coffees, alcoholic drinks and a food menu including waffles and hotdogs. Cinema drinks and snacks will also be available.
The café, which will be open to non cinema customers too, will also offer wifi.
Will you be visiting the new cinema this weekend? Email email@example.com
To find out more, go to www.lightcinemas.com