BOLTON'S new cinema at The Market Place will be "inclusive" and "community driven", bosses say.
Bosses at The Light Cinema revealed their aspirations after being unveiled as the independent digital operator to take over the nine-screen movie house.
The £15 million cinema is set to be constructed effectively on the roof of the Market Place after plans submitted by the Market Place’s new owners, Moorgarth, were approved recently.
Phil Dove, The Light Cinema’s head of UK operations, said: “We believe the local community should stand at the helm of our independent cinemas.
“We are always keen to work with local suppliers and we want the community to feel they own and run the cinema. We are always happy to hear suggestions from local residents. This is their cinema as much as it is ours.”
The Light Cinema brand has been credited for playing a major part in the regeneration of New Brighton from its location at Marine Point.
The operator also has a complex opening at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire in May.
But its activities are not restricted to the UK, with cinemas in Romania and Germany.
Jane Woodason, educational events manager for The Light at New Brighton, said Bolton had a lot to look forward to when the cinema complex opens.
She added: “It’s a great new brand. These are purpose-built independent cinemas and are proving to be a massive success.
“We are offering more comfortable, bigger seating than other cinemas, and we offer facilities for people with autism, subtitles and a choice for the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender community.
“We have a proud history of going into areas where there has been strong economic performance but where regeneration is needed.
“The older people of New Brighton, who remember what it was like when there were lots of cinemas here, really love what we have to offer — like live opera and national theatre events and morning viewings.”
The new Bolton cinema will have up to 1,200 seats and the Market Place complex will also feature a range of restaurants in the basement.
Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris said he had been very impressed with The Light Cinema’s concept and approach.
He said: “This is fantastic news for Bolton and another vote of confidence for the town centre. This new cinema at the heart of Bolton town centre will make a big difference to the town. I want to congratulate Moorgarth for moving forward with this project quickly and getting an operator on board.”