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Lights, cameras, action as new cinema sets an opening date

By David Porter

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North-east cinema goers will welcome a new venue later this year after a seven-moth delay.

Arc Cinema is set to open to the public in October
Arc Cinema is set to open to the public in October

The Arc Cinema in Peterhead will finally open its doors to the public at the site of the former Gala Bingo property on Peterhead’s Marischal Street on Friday October 2.

The initial plan was meant to see the venue open back in December of 2019 which was set back again to March this year.

The launch was, like so many other projects postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it has been announced that it will finally be completed in just over seven weeks.

The Irish-based parent company chain has invested £2 million to convert the bingo hall into a five-screen cinema in a move that has been welcomed by locals and councillors as a significant opportunity for redevelopment of Peterhead.

Work is now being carried out to ensure the cinema is ready to open with all the necessary safety features in place to cope with the ongoing social distancing requirements.

The new manager of the facility is Laura Daramola whose enthusiasm is set to make a trip to the cinema a special event.

She said: “I love films and I am really looking forward to bringing cinema back to the centre of Peterhead.

“Of course there will be special measures in place because of the Covid-19 restrictions to ensure the safety of all our visitors and staff but we are certain they won’t detract from the overall experience.

“We can’t wait to open our doors.”

Ms Daramola is currently recruiting a 15-strong team and is looking for each member to have a hospitality background and a love of films.

Applications for the available positions can be made online via Indeed or Facebook.

The cinema will show the latest blockbuster and independent films as well as broadcast screenings of opera, ballet and theatrical productions.

It will boast 422 luxury leather armchair seats, digital laser projection with 3D capability and Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound, including the

Fidelio system for the hard of hearing.

All of the screens at the new facility will be wheelchair-accessible and it will also have subtitled screenings.

A range of snacks and drinks will also be on offer and all screens are licensed.

Brian Gilligan of Arc Cinema, who has been leading the project, previously said: “We are delighted to be bringing an Arc Cinema to Peterhead and being part of the town’s regeneration.

“We are sure that the local community will love their new cinema.”

The development of the scheme has been assisted by Aberdeenshire Council with a £200,000 cash injection from their Property Investment Fund.

The Arc Cinema chain was established in 2014 and is currently opening a number of new sites in the UK.

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