£12m cinema rises up at Walsall Waterfront
Construction work is under way on a £12 million cinema development at Walsall Waterfront.
The steel frame for the new leisure venue can now be seen stretching up next to the Premier Inn in Wolverhampton Street.
The new town centre complex, which will also feature bars and restaurants, is being built by Light Cinema and will be first in the country to boast the latest hi-tech Extreme screen, which delivers a more intense experience through super-high-quality audio and visual.
The development opposite the Crown Shopping Park will also see Chiquito, Pizza Express, Bella Italia and Hungry Horse open new sites.
All the sites are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The building work is being carried out by Kier Property.
Walsall's regeneration chief Councillor Mohammad Nazir said: "This is another good example of the redevelopment of the town centre. People can now physically see it happening and as the portfolio holder I welcome the investment. We would encourage more investors to come to the borough as we endeavour to make it fit for purpose in the 21st century. We would also encourage residents and visitors to flock to these facilities when they open for business."
It has been two decades since Walsall town centre had a cinema after the old Cannon, previously known as ABC, closed in Park Street back in 1993 to make way for the regeneration of Park Street. It was replaced by the building now occupied by Poundland and Pure Gym near The New Walsall Art Gallery.
Head of UK operations for Light Cinemas Phil Dove said: "The new cinema is 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."
Walsall Council was granted permission to expand the complex by boosting seating numbers from 1,039 to 1,245 after slightly amended proposals to increase the size last year.
There are also plans for a second cinema in the town centre with The Vue complex that forms part of a separate project being put forward by developers Cordwell on land off Littleton Street West near Tesco. This is also due to create more than 200 jobs.