BUILDING work should start early next year on extending the cinema in Bognor Regis.
Contractors for the town council will arrive at the Picturedrome to begin to construct a fourth screen in early February. The 114-seat auditorium is due to open late next autumn.
The £850,000 project for the biggest change to the town council-owned building since it was built in 1885 comes after town councillors unanimously supported it.
The major decision was taken by the ten council members - Jim Brooks, Jan Cosgrove, Pat Dillon, Tony Gardiner, Steve Goodheart, Martin Lineham, Dougal Maconachie, Stephen Reynolds, William Toovey and Phil Woodall - at an extraordinary meeting of the council on Monday.
It was greeted by a round of applause among the six members of the public present and many of the councillors.
Cllr William Toovey (LD, Orchard)) said: “Thank you very much to all the councillors who have backed our one project this year. All of you should feel proud of what you have done.”
The hour-long meeting approved four recommendations from town clerk Glenna Frost.
These were to accept an external audit report into the process by which the council originally agreed the extension last March and to accept the backing for the fourth screen at the recent electors’ meeting.
The other recommendations saw the council agree to accept the £849,931.47 fixed price quote from Lewes-based Cheesmur Building Contractors for the single storey extension to the back of the Picturedrome and to authorise Mrs Frost to sign the necessary contracts.
This included the conditions that extra improvements were not to exceed £10,000, ancillary fees should be kept to less than £26,600 and the council will charge an annual rent of at least £20,000 for the fourth screen.
The cinema is run by the Picturedrome Electric Theatre Co, owned by town councillor Adam Cunard, on a lease from the council.
Mr Cunard was absent from the meeting.
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