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New cinema gets go-ahead and aims to open in 2020

PUBLISHED: 11:25 21 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:28 21 November 2019

How one of the auditoriums at the new cinema could look. Pic: BCA Ltd/Whitworth.

How one of the auditoriums at the new cinema could look. Pic: BCA Ltd/Whitworth.

BCA Ltd/Whitworth

Film fans could be watching movies at a new Norfolk cinema next year, after a bid to transform a former railway warehouse was given the green light.

Plans for the Old Goods Shed, next to Wymondham Railway Station, have been granted permission by officers at South Norfolk Council.

And bosses at start-up digital cinema business Filmhaus (Cinemas) Ltd are hoping they can get the two-screen boutique cinema open in 2020.

Bill Chew, a chartered architect and cinema designer, who is behind Filmhaus, has been talking to the council for about four years about the project.

He said he was delighted to have secured permission and is now looking forward to getting the work to breathe new life into the Grade II-listed building started.

How the inside of the Old Goods Shed in Wymondham currently looks. Pic: Bill Chew.How the inside of the Old Goods Shed in Wymondham currently looks. Pic: Bill Chew.

He said: "It was very good news that we were given permission. What we are going to do now is get the tenders out for work on the building.

"Our aim is to start work on the site in April, with three months for the external repairs and five months for the interior fitting, so we are hoping we will be ready to open in November next year."

The cinema would also feature a cafe/bar and meeting room, which could be used by the community, while a new wheelchair accessible path, with safety railings, would be created outside the entrance.

The Victorian building is in a dilapidated state.

Plans have been lodged to turn the Old Goods Shed in Wymondham into a boutique cinema. Pic: Bill Chew.Plans have been lodged to turn the Old Goods Shed in Wymondham into a boutique cinema. Pic: Bill Chew.

But Mr Chew is confident it can be given a new lease of life, with one screen of 94 seats and two wheelchairs and the other, on a mezzanine, having 31 seats.

The original look of the outside of the building will be maintained.

The cinema would aim to draw in audiences from Wymondham, surrounding areas and further afield.

The idea is that it would be open from about 11am until 10pm seven days a week.

Plans have been lodged to turn the Old Goods Shed in Wymondham into a boutique cinema. Pic: BCA Ltd/ WhitworthPlans have been lodged to turn the Old Goods Shed in Wymondham into a boutique cinema. Pic: BCA Ltd/ Whitworth

It is anticipated that it would provide employment for about 14 people, in full-time and part-time positions.

The town's previous cinema, The Regal, closed its doors in June 1993, after a screening of The Bodyguard starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston.

While the Wymondham and District Ex-Service's Social Club continues to show films in the old Regal building once a month, the town has been without a dedicated cinema for more than 25 years.

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