Work continues to convert old bingo hall into new screen complex at Abbeygate Cinema

Work is continuing on the expansion of the Abbeygate Cinema complex in Bury St Edmunds.

Although the venue was devastated to close its door last month because of the coronavirus pandemic carpenters, electricians, carpet and seat installers have been taking their turns coming in to the old Bingo Hall to continue the new auditorium fit out at the Premier Screen site.

The tailor-made screen frame is now in, and over the coming weeks the state-of-the-art 4K laser projection system is due to be installed.

And the cinema said that although its initial plan was to open it in the spring in a “bare bones” pop up format to temporarily run some fundraising screenings in the circumstances it is pushing on with the work so the auditorium will be as close to finished as possible when it re-opens.

“That way we’ll have three screens open to show all the films that have been delayed due to the pandemic. The film release calendar will be ‘compressed’ now for the rest of this year right into 2021 and when restrictions start to get lifted, people will be wanting to get out and see films at the cinema, so what cinemas will need is more screens and seats – and that’s exactly what we’ll have.”

It is also making some major changes to the projection system in Screen 2.

Currently this is a “periscope” system built for mirrored projection, so it’s changing the structure of the box and installing a projector that beams directly onto the screen to get a much better image.

Work is also being carried out to the booth seating and snug area in the adjoining restaurant/bar and decorating is also taking place.

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