Cinema City names the day

Even the most ardent movie fans could be forgiven for thinking it was a never-ending epic. But after delay upon delay to its mammoth metamorphosis, Norwich's arthouse film theatre has finally named the day that the celluloid will roll again - and it's only 11 weeks away.

Even the most ardent movie fans could be forgiven for thinking it was a never-ending epic.

But after delay upon delay to its mammoth metamorphosis, Norwich's arthouse film theatre has finally named the day that the celluloid will roll again - and it's only 11 weeks away.

Cinema City will unveil its sparkling new three screen complex on October 19, almost four years since the last film was shown at the medieval building that has been brought bang up to date for the 21st century.

It features modern projection and sound systems, the most comfortable seats available and a bar and restaurant.


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Parts of the building that have lain unseen for many years will be opened up and the popular courtyard will be covered with a new glass canopy.

Yesterday , the cinema's chairman Keith Bartlett and director David Litchfield gave the media a peek inside the new cinema and showed a short film that will whet the appetite of audiences at its current home at Norwich Playhouse.

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It builds up the excitement like a movie trailer, talks about the long wait and hard work before unveiling images of the new cinema screens, bar and foyer which, it says, will finally be open to the public in October.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the dates of the first public screening at the new Cinema City,” said Mr Bartlett.

“It's been a long time coming, and all of us have gained in terms of grey hairs down the years, and we had our fair share of delays and protracted negotiations but our funders and stakeholders have stuck with us.

“The development has been much more challenging than anyone imagined at the outset but we are confident that the new cinema will be well worth the wait.

“We believe the venue will play an important role in the development of Norwich and Norfolk as a leading centre of cultural and creative excellence.”

Cinema City was founded in the mid-60s and ten years later became the first ever regional film theatre in England.

It closed in December 2003 for the beginning of the refurbishment, which, as Mr Bartlett added, had some “hiccups” along the way, including having to stop work for 16 months because of the rising price of steel in China.

It will continue to show art house, but with a greater variety of films, more opportunities to see them and educational events for schools.

Mr Litchfield said: “Delays to the building project were caused by some existing archaeological discoveries which simply had to be investigated and we were further hit by the worldwide increase in steel prices.

“However, throughout the project we have been determined that we would not compromise the integrity of our vision to create the cinema that audiences in Norwich and Norfolk so richly deserve, the best independent cinema in the country.”

Before re-opening, Cinema City will continue to screen films at Norwich Playhouse until October 1.

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