Published Wednesday 3 May 2017 at 12:11
Reel Cinema Ltd has been unveiled as the developer behind a new cinema, restaurant and bar complex in Blackburn town centre.
The exciting plans were revealed by Blackburn with Darwen Council and the centre’s new owner during a signing ceremony at Blackburn Town Hall.
The development will be built on the site of the former Waves Water Fun Centre, which was demolished last year after the development of the new Blackburn Sports and Leisure Centre.
Reel Cinemas is a top independent cinema operator owned by Kailash Chander ‘KC’ Suri.
The deal was officially signed at Blackburn Town Hall and works are due to start in early 2018 with a completion date of late summer 2019.
During his visit Mr Suri enjoyed a tour of the Northgate area surrounding the cinema site and was interested to see the Mitchell and Kenyon documentary connection the town is famous for. He spoke about his vision for Blackburn and his other projects across the country.
Coming to Blackburn is about creating something unique. I could see the potential as soon as I visited Blackburn. The new cinema will be the first of its kind in the country. There is nothing else like it. There will be a fusion of Hollywood, Bollywood and Independent cinema. The theme will come out in the design too and the food and drink offer. Hopefully it will play a part in bringing people together.
It will have the very latest technology, fit for the next generation. I’m also interested what else Reel might get involved in. It’s an ideal site for leisure, close to the college and King George’s Hall and other exciting investment activity.”
The cinema complex will be built by the Council but leased to Reel for 20 years, which will pay back the £6.5million capital cost but leave the borough with the freehold.
The scheme is for a single storey eight screen cinema incorporating a bar and food and drink units.
The cinema will sell alcohol and parking will be free at the multi storey car park for visitors.
The development will create local jobs and bring more visitors into Blackburn town centre and make Blackburn a destination for cinema goers with a real choice of films and venues. The new development will help to boost the town centre’s night time economy, following on from the development of the Cathedral Quarter, new bars opening and the new Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage project.
Mr Suri added:
Providing a value for money experience for all ages in very important to Reel. We liked to be thought of as the local cinema. Because we are independent we are flexible and can work with the local community and be at its heart. We will be keen to link up with students and local filmmakers.
It’s always a proud for me when people tell me they have had a great experience. We can complement other cinema experiences in the area and research shows cinema admissions go up when a second cinema opens.
“I am delighted to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Council on this development, we are very encouraged by the level of commitment shown to making this happen.”