Big screen at Picturedrome available for hire

Bognor Picturedrome
Bognor Picturedrome

FILM fans in Bognor Regis will have the chance of enjoying a personal cinema for a night.

The new third screen at the Picturedrome will be available to hire.

The 45-seat auditorium is expected to be open by the summer.

Cinema operator Adam Cunard is spending some £50,000 on the project to convert an unused first-floor room in the historic building.

He said the extra screen would increase the Picturedrome’s chances against the proposed multiplex in the St Modwen regeneration scheme.

It would generate extra revenue by enabling more big films to be shown and being available for personal hire.

“I have a similar room at the cinema I run in Westgate in Kent,” said Mr Cunard.

“It’s very popular with people who rent it for birthday parties and other family occasions.

“The new screen at the Picturedrome will also be available for use like that. Having it gives me all sorts of different options like that.”

Mr Cunard said his success at the Picturedrome – with its popular mix of big films and low prices – had paved the way for a growing national leisure operator.

His company was about to open its fifth cinema, at Blackwood in South Wales, next spring.

“The town has not had a cinema since the 1970s and I’ve taken over the building, which had become a bingo hall, and turning it back into a cinema.

“People in the town are very excited about what’s happening there.

“It’s the first time I’ve been able to take on a cinema from scratch rather than working with an existing one.

“When that opens, I will have 18 screens across the group. That will make me one of the biggest independent cinema operators in the UK.

“We are climbing up the table of operators because there are not many of us left.”

Mr Cunard intends to keep his business based at the Picturedrome where he employs 15 full and part-time staff.

“It has to be good for Bognor that one of the town’s businesses is doing so well,” he said.

Mr Cunard’s took on the Picturedrome in April 2007.

He now rents it from Bognor Regis Town Council which bought the Canada Grove building about three years ago.

The town council has been consulting residents about its plans for an extension to house a fourth screen and a function room.

The results should be known later this month.