BOLTON’S new town centre cinema is to open by the end of this month.

After a series of delays, bosses are now confident that the nine-screen complex in the Market Place Shopping Centre will be ready to show its first films in a matter of weeks.

Seats have been installed at the cinema, which will be run by The Light Cinema Experience, and builders are now putting the finishing touches to the project.

It is expected that audiences will be welcomed in to see director Tim Burton’s latest film, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, as well as thriller The Girl on the Train, and family adventure Trolls.

It was first hoped that the cinema would be completed by the end of 2015, but building directly above an operational shopping centre has proved challenging for developers.

Phil Dove, head of UK operations for The Light Cinema Experience, is hoping that the cinema will play a key role in reviving the town centre’s night-time economy.

He said: "Bolton clearly used to have a thriving cinema-going community, which it seems to have lost.

“For a long time, the received wisdom has been that cinemas had to move out of the town centre to satellite areas. I don’t think that is true anymore.

“Bolton has been missing a quality night-time economy. I’m not saying we are going to solve that, but hopefully it will give a bit more confidence to businesses to come here.

“The town had that once and it needs it back again.”

The new cinema is one piece of the £20 million scheme to redevelop the shopping centre, which has welcomed a host of high-profile restaurants and shops in the past 12 months.

Market Place manager Nikki Wilson-Cook said: "We are really looking forward to the opening of the cinema. It is going to be something that most people have never seen before and we are really excited about it."

Mr Dove added: “The figures for the shopping centre are building and building. The brands that are already here are doing some amazing stuff.

“There is so much to do here and for Bolton to be really proud of.

“The Food and Drink Festival was a great weekend. To have 250,000 people coming into the town and many of them visiting us was wonderful.

“To keep that sort of feeling going, you need to have things that will drive the night-time economy and a cinema is a really good starting point for that.”

The new cinema, which has already employed 19 staff, boasts more than 1,200 seats across its nine screens.

As well as showing a wide variety of films, bosses are also promising a series of special events – including charity nights, and autism and dementia-friendly screenings.

There will be no extra charge for 3D showings and customers who book online will be given a 10 per cent discount.

Mr Dove, who is waiting for the silver screens, speakers, and projectors to be installed, said: “Once I see the seats go in, that makes me very, very happy. That means that all of the things that take time to go in have been done.

“We have invested in the best seats we can get and there is a lot of leg room. We could have added an extra couple of rows, but it’s not about having as many seats as possible. It’s about comfort.

“As well as films, we will be showing opera, ballet, and live theatre from all over the country – that is very important to us.”

He added: “We want people to be excited about things like Captain America and Star Wars, but we also want to appeal to people who want to see a bit more serious cinema too.

“The manager of the cinema can make decisions about programming and how we are connecting with the community, which is something you don’t always get at other cinemas.

“This isn’t a specialist cinema, we won’t be showing every obscure thing, but if a film has a decent following you can pretty much guarantee that we will show it.”