Cinemagoers in for treat at Bognor Regis

Cultural treats are coming to the big screen in Bognor Regis.

A radical move will see the Picturedrome show live performances from some of the world’s top performances venues and artistes.

The first screening in the new season will be at 6.50pm on Thursday, September 15, when TV star James Corden will appear in the comedy One Man 2 Guvnors straight from the National Theatre in London.

It will be quickly followed at 6.10pm the next Sunday by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra playing a Mahler concert under the baton of acclaimed conductor Simon Rattle.

Other performances will come from the Royal Opera House and the world famous Bolshoi Ballet.

Cinema managing director Adam Cunard said: “I’m quite excited about this new programme of screenings. I’m optimistic it will work.

“It’s never been done in Bognor before because we never had the equipment to be able to do it.

“But installing satellite technology to go with our new digital projectors means we can now beam in these performances as they are happening.

“I think lots of people will want to see these sort of events.

“I’m hoping to put on more mainstream events and popular concerts as well, like the Last Night of the Proms to give them the big screen treatment.

“In a way, it’s like turning the clock back in the Picturedrome.

“It was originally used as assembly rooms where performances would have taken place before it became a cinema in 1919.”

Mr Cunard, who runs the Picturedrome Electric Theatre Company, has set prices for the cultural nights at £10 for theatre and ballet screenings and £15 for opera.

“I know they are dearer than our usual film prices,” he said, “but they are a lot cheaper than the seats at other cinemas where these screenings take place at a cost of more than £20 a ticket.”

The cultural shows will continue with Faust from the Royal Opera House at 6.45pm on September 28 before The Kitchen, directed by Arnold Wesker, at The National at 6.50pm on October 6.

The initial season of screenings continues until next June.

The Observer reported last week how a final deal had been reached between Mr Cunard’s company and the Picturedrome’s owner, Bognor Regis Town Council, for a 25-year lease.