Leamington cinema benefits from £500,000 upgrade

A balcony area for disabled patrons will be among the new features of the revamped Vue Cinema in Leamington.

Friday, 18th April 2014, 8:30 am
The newly improved Vue cinema in Leamington will be ready for cinema-goers on April 20. Picture by Sean Conboy.

The £500,000 refurbishment on the 83-year-old cinema in Portland Place is due to be complete on Sunday (April 20), with upgrades also including stadium-style seating, leather VIP seats, a concession stand with an integrated Ben & Jerry’s ice cream vendor and improvements to the foyer and concourse area.

The toilets will also be improved and a disabled toilet added to the ground floor, as well as extra ticket collection machines. All six auditoriums have had new wall treatments and floor coverings.

Cinema manager Craig Manton said: “We know that there is a huge cinema following in the local area and we are committed to providing something for everyone.

“Our ongoing investment in the existing site and our digital projectors and other state-of-the-art technology continue to ensure that we are providing an exciting and dynamic entertainment destination.”

Vue Entertainment took over the running of the cinema last year, but it has a long-running history in the centre of Leamington. Designed by architect Horace G Bradley of Birmingham, the art deco-styled building first opened as the Regal Cinema in September 1931, with its opening screening The Middle Watch starring Owen Nares.

Five years later it was taken over by the Stratford Picture House Co Ltd, part of the Clifton Cinemas chain, which ran the venue until 1993, when it was taken over again by Apollo Leisure Ltd. Apollo added a further five screens over the years.

According to Leamington History Group, over the years, there has been a belief that the building is haunted by the ghost of Edith Devis, the widow of a wealthy man, who family members say donated money towards a number of Leamington projects, including the building of the Regal cinema. The ghost is said to have made its first appearance shortly after Mrs Devis’ death in a car crash.

The cinema as it stands today has continued to remain open during refurbishment works, which started in early March, and will still be open today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) before the works are complete.

To see a list of screenings, timings and ticket prices at the Leamington cinema, visit www.myvue.com/home/cinema/leamington-spa or call the ticket hotline on 08712 240 240.