Rutland's cinema looks set to open at Victoria Hall in Oakham
Plans to create a cinema are rolling forward after a two-year search for a location.
The two-screen theatre will be at Victoria Hall in Oakham after a long-term lease was agreed.
Subject to planning approval and funding, the pair behind the venture - Andrew Robinson and Genevieve Margrett - hope to open the Rutland Kino cinema next summer. It will be Rutland’s first permanent cinema since the 1980s.
Andrew, a resident of Rutland and retired chief executive of a cinema screens company, said: “We are looking to create a space that can be used and loved by everyone.
“From offering parent and baby screenings to setting up special film clubs, it’s the ideal focal point on the high street, drawing people into town and creating employment opportunities too.
“We’re really excited by the opportunity to help lift the high street following the toughest of years.”
The venue will have 89 seats for one screen and 30 for the other, comprising cinema seating and sofas, and there will also be a café and lounge.
Film choices will aim to suit a range of ages with screenings five days a week, moving to seven days as audiences grow.
The building’s conversion is being overseen by architect Stefanie Fischer, of Philip Meadowcroft Architects, who specialises in cinemas and adapting buildings to retain their original character.
Peter Jones, chairman of the trustees of Victoria Hall, welcomed the development and said: “The hall has served the community for 125 years but times and the needs for such a facility are changing.”
Genevieve added: “The past 18 months have made us realise how much we value the joy of social interactions. Being able to watch a film, with a glass of wine, some good food and in the company of others is something we won’t take for granted again. We can’t wait to be able to bring this experience to Rutland residents.”
Both Andrew and Genevieve are making ‘significant’ investments in the project and are seeking people to help raise £2m to convert the space. To find out more about investing in the venture email email@example.com
A public consultation on the proposal take place from 3pm on Wednesday on the ground floor of Victoria Hall, where people can view plans and comment on them.
Question and answer sessions will be at 4pm and 6pm, although numbers will be limited due to covid rules and people will be given access on a first come, first served basis.