Revamp means Lowestoft cinema will stay in the picture

FILM fans are being promised an exciting new era at Lowestoft's main cinema as it prepares to relaunch itself after a �200,000 refurbishment that will allow it to show the latest movies in digital and 3D format.

The Hollywood in London Road South is also set to a name change as it becomes East Coast Cinema as part of major drive to safeguard its future and fight off competition from multiplex rivals in Norwich and Ipswich.

The technical overhaul, which has been completed this week after 12 months of planning, has seen all four of the cinema's screens upgraded, with brand-new projection equipment installed.

Its owner, East Coast Cinema Ltd, says this will enable to show new films in the new, enhanced digital format with 'improved picture and sound quality along with access to even more movies on release date'.

Managing director, Michael Hansell, said he was very excited by the improvements. He said: 'A year ago we had to put our conventional refurbishment on hold to focus on this very expensive, but necessary upgrade to our projection equipment. It has taken a lot of time and effort to make this happen and to ensure that we upgraded all four of our screens and, the best thing of all, we've achieved this huge improvement without increasing ticket prices.

'We will continue showing great movies, at a better quality for the same price.'

By investing in its facilities, the East Coast Cinema says it is aiming to strengthen its position as 'a very real alternative to multiplexes while securing the future of cinema in the town for many years to come'.

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The improvements have seen all four of its screens made '3D ready'. But Mr Hansell said that with this making films more expensive to show, this option will be used sparingly and only one screen would be enabled at any one time.

He said: 'As most people are all too aware, 3D means a substantially higher ticket price and this goes against our pricing policy of best possible value. However, after looking at various business models we are very happy to announce that we've found a way to deliver 3D for just �1 extra per ticket. This is significantly cheaper than any other 3D cinema in the area and you can use your own polarised 3D glasses.'

But he stressed: 'Standard 2D movies are here to stay and preferred over 3D by many of our customers. We are supporting both formats and will continue to do so until technology moves on, but that could be some time yet.'

Mr Hansell, who has worked in the cinema industry since he was 15 and oversaw the purchase of the Lowestoft site from Norwich-based based Hollywood Cinemas two years ago, said he was looking forward to the future.

'East Coast Cinema Ltd took over here in 2009. Since then we have been successfully working alongside Hollywood Cinemas while independently improving the Lowestoft site. With digital projection and 3D we move in a new and exciting direction and feel that now is the right time to split away from the group,' he said.

East Coast Cinema launches itself into the 3D era today with the Shrek spin-off movie, Puss in Boots. 3D glasses are on sale from the cinema for just �1. For information, ring the box office on 01502 564 567.

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