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Big screen back in Stafford as historic cinema reopens its doors

By Tom Oakley | Stafford | Staffordshire entertainment | Published:

A cinema which was left with an uncertain future when it shut its doors last year will reopen today.

Stafford Cinema is seeking new staff members as it opens its doors again

New owners AJH Cinema have given Stafford Cinema a new lease of life, with a lick of red paint and a restored heating system.

A recruitment drive to bring in up to 10 new members of staff to the Newport Road cinema is currently under way.

The first showing will be the Avengers: Infinity War at 4.30pm, followed by Sherlock Gnomes at 5pm and Peter Rabbit at 5.30pm.

Yesterday, final preparations were being made to the building, including signs and posters being put up outside.

Anthony Harris, from Shropshire-based AJH Cinema, hopes to make further improvements once it is open.

“We’ve been here for about eight or nine weeks working to reopen the cinema now,” he said.

“We’ve repainted and decorated both the inside and outside of the cinema, and refitted the heating in screen two and also three.

“We’ll look at improving screen one in the future – we want to set up another heating system to make it even better.

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“The original has been fixed though and its up and running.

“We’re getting new staff in and doing interviews. We’re going to bring in up to 10 new members.”

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After taking over the building Mr Harris said he would try to keep prices low – charging £7 for adults and £6 for children and concessions.

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Owner of the Electric Cinema in Cannock, Graeme Cotton, will help out with the running of the Stafford Cinema.

Mr Harris added: “I’m looking forward to the opening. There’s been a lot of people coming in – painters, decorators, joiners – you name it.

“Lets hope it will be a success.”

The cinema was originally put up for sale in January 2016 – before closing in December last year.

It went on the market at around the same time as a new Odeon cinema at Riverside was given the go-ahead by Stafford Borough Council.

The Odeon, which will feature six screens and 800 seats, has cost £6.5 million to build and is continuing to take shape along the River Sow on the site of the former Express & Star office.

Developer Simons Group is working on site and has been aiming to complete the project by the end of June.

Stafford Cinema was built in the 1930s and run by film company called Curzon. The last film shown there was Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Stafford Cinema which was left facing an uncertain future when it shut its doors last year will reopen this evening.

New owner AJH Cinema has given the venue a new lease of life with a lick of red paint and restored heating system.

A recruitment drive to bring in up to 10 new members of staff to the Newport Road cinema is currently underway.

The first showing will be the Avengers: Infinity War from 4.30pm, followed by Sherlock Gnomes at 5pm and Peter Rabbit at 5.30pm.

Yesterday, final preparations were being made to the building, including erected a sign and installing posters outside.

Anthony Harris, from AJH, who is based in Shropshire, still hopes to make further improvements after it opens.

"We've been here for about eight or nine weeks working to reopen the cinema now," he said.

"We've repainted and decorated both the inside and out of the cinema, and refitted the heating in screen two and three.

"We'll look at improving screen one in the future – we want to set up another heating system to make it even better.

"The original has been fixed though and its up and running.

"We're getting new staff in and doing interviews. We're going to bring in up to 10 new members."

After taking over Mr Harris admitted he would try to keep prices low – charging £7 for adults and £6 for children and concessions.

It comes as work on the new complex in Stafford continues – just a stones throw away.

The Odeon cinema will feature six screens and 800 seats.

Owner of the Electric Cinema in Cannock, Graeme Cotton will help out with the running of the Stafford Cinema when it opens its doors tonight.

Mr Harris added: "I'm looking forward to the opening. There's been a lot of people coming in – painters, decorators, joiners – you name it.

"Lets hope it will be a success."

Stafford Cinema on Newport Road was originally put up for sale in January 2016 – before closing in December 2017.

It went on the market at around the same time as the new cinema at Riverside was given the go ahead by Stafford Borough Council.

Following its closure last year, there were the loss of the cinema could signal the end of the building in its current use.

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@expressandstar.co.uk or call 01902 319482.

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