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New Walsall cinema will be first in country with latest hi-tech screen technology

Walsall | News | Published:

A new Light Cinema to be built in Walsall town centre will be its first in the country to boast latest hi-tech screen technology, it has emerged.

The cinema complex is being planned at Walsall Waterfront with work due to begin in the coming months ahead of a summer 2015 launch.

The company says it will be fitted with a World Class Extreme Screen, the first of its kind installed by the firm in the UK.

The cinema forms part of a £12 million canalside development by Kier Property which will also include bars and restaurants.

It comes as slightly amended proposals increasing the size of the scheme were give the go-ahead by the council last week.

Phil Dove, head of UK operations for Light Cinemas, said: "This will be the Light Cinemas first Extreme Screen with ATMOS in the UK, and we are delighted to provide it for the Walsall development.

"The new cinema due for completion in summer 2015 will therefore offer incomparable comfort and first class presentation for Walsall, on its large fully immersive screens within the cutting edge, nine-screen digital multiplex."

Kier Property development manager, James Nicholson, added: "The development of the whole scheme is going extremely well so far and the discussions our operating partner, The Light Cinemas, is having with World Class Extreme Screen highlights the first class leisure destination we are providing for Walsall.

"Final discussions are also currently taking place with a series of leading bars, restaurants and cafés operated by some of the UK's favourite brands and we very much look forward to announcing these names in the coming weeks."

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It comes as work will soon forge ahead on a second multi-million pound cinema in Littleton Street, near to Tesco, also in the town centre.

The Vue cinema is to have 142 extra seats than first planned, with a total of 1,281 spaces, after the council gave the increased size of the scheme planning permission.

The extra seats will be spread across all of the auditoriums, while the height of the building is being increased by 4ft.

Developer Cordwell put forward a new parking layout and replacing the ground floor box office with a large first floor box office and concessions area.

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Concerns were raised that the car park would not have enough spaces for disabled people but the council rubber-stamped the project, which will fit in with the long-term £400m Gigaport, which aims to create a business and office corridor through the heart of the borough.

Planning committee chairman Councillor Garry Perry said he was aware there were questions over whether the town could sustain two cinemas – but he hailed the developments as positive for the future.

He said: "In terms of planning there is no reason to take any other decision than approving them."At the end of the day, while the debate about whether we need two cinemas will go on, it's good that these companies are investing in leisure facilities in the town.

"The overall package is good news for Walsall. I wonder whether we could have had a bowling alley or even a theatre instead but we can't dictate the market and there must be a demand for these cinemas."

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