Picturedrome parties Gatsby-style in Bognor Regis to celebrate refurb

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The newly refurbished Picturedrome Cinema in Bognor Regis was transformed into a 1920s cocktail lounge for a Great Gatsby inspired party at a Grand Gala Night on Friday 17 May.

Bognor Regis Town Council, which owns the building, teamed up with Adam Cunard, MD of the operating company, to showcase the result of all their efforts in refurbishing the building, both inside and out. The once shabby dark and rundown venue has been transformed back to the splendour of its heyday, with new seats and carpets, digital projection and revamped kiosks.

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The main auditorium now looks resplendent having been repainted in its original pink and gold to pick out the fine Art Deco architectural features which had been obscured by years of dirt and neglect. The exterior of the building has been cleaned and repaired to replace the beautiful coloured stained glass canopy, and the distinctive round glass tower is now transparent, illuminated  and displaying a revolving sign that can be seen for miles around.

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A full house of invited guests turned out in style to watch The Great Gatsby. As they entered the foyer via the red carpet, they were announced by the Toastmaster in his livery, and introduced to waiting dignitaries, including the Mayor, before being handed a cocktail or a glass of champagne and canapés.

Invitations suggested 1920s dress, and the guests had certainly taken it seriously; there were some stunning outfits on show, and a plethora of feather boas, beads and headbands, sequins and fur.

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A wonderful evening was had by all, and it was a great opportunity to show off the stunning results of all the hard work and investment which went into making the Picturedrome cinema a building to be proud of, hopefully for many years to come.

David Prosser’s May Time Blog

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Hello Exhibitors,

How quickly the months go past. It’s my blog time again.

I've just got back from the CEA South West meeting in Redruth which was held at the magnificently refurbished Redruth Regal, part of Merlin Cinemas, owned and run by Geoff Greaves.

Geoff now has seven screens at the Regal and has very nearly completed the 600-seater theatre and cinema. I'm sure the site is destined to do very good business indeed, especially with all the screen opportunities combined with a great café and restaurants as part of the set up.

The meeting was very well attended with Adam Cunard in the Chair administrating and conducting affairs extremely efficiently as usual. Unfortunately, a number of distributors were unable to attend, so we hope they will make it in November.

I must mention David Williams of WTW Cinemas in Cornwall, who was present and has recently been awarded an MBE for services to regional cinema. Although not affiliated to DCM, David greatly increases the value of independent cinema in the South West. Many congratulations! The photographs of David shaking hands with the Queen were great to see, especially as Her Majesty had a wonderful smile on her face. Next up, it’s the turn of Gerry Parkes from Parkway Cinemas, who is due to meet the Queen in Buck House in June. Good luck Gerry!

It was great to meet up with James Collington at the Nottingham Savoy during the last month. James also owns Boston West End and the newer site at Worksop. All James’ sites are now digital and the new Worksop venue is performing well. I was also fortunate enough to travel to the Woodbridge Riverside to meet up with Tom Offord and the Woodbridge team. The Riverside has a unique situation right next door to the station, close to the quayside and has a wonderful restaurant. The cinema has just started screening alternative content which is doing really well. The last screening was a sell-out showing of War Of The Worlds.  It's a brave new world with digital!

There is some very good news that a few remaining 35mm sites are converting to digital very shortly, including the Durham Gala, Wisbech, The Luxe and the Leatherhead Theatre. All will be on board for receiving our digital ad reels which I’m sure will be very welcomed.

March admissions saw a slight dip at 10.8m, down by 7% on 2012.  The good news is that January was such a bumper month we are still 3.3% up at the end of the first quarter delivering a total of 41.9m admissions.

With quite a few action packed movies screened in April let’s look forward to a strong performing second quarter. I thought Oblivion was a great Sci-Fi movie and it’s also doing well at the box office taking nearly £5m.

All best wishes and see you next month

David Prosser the DCM blogger

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