This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.
Nottingham city centre is big enough for another cinema, says the boss of the operator that will be the first leisure anchor at the new-look intu Broadmarsh.
Keith Pullinger, who founded The Light with business partner John Sullivan, says the nine-screen multiplex will be able to compete with Cineworld, at the Cornerhouse, and Broadway Cinema, in Broad Street, as well as out-of-town Showcase and Savoy.
The independent chain, which has eight other cinemas in the UK, signed a 25-year lease agreement earlier this year with intu and expects to open in 2020 after the redevelopment of the centre.
Mr Pullinger, who is also chief executive, said: “Nottingham is a big city with a fantastic student population. The cinemas trade very well and we think there’s room for another mainstream cinema with a slightly different approach to it.
“Our cinemas have a premium fit-out with reclining seats and we keep pricing at sensible levels.
“We’re trying to raise the experience levels and give a much better quality environment for a standard cinema price, with good beer, wine, coffee and popcorn.
“We like to be a little bit different from the generic multiplexes.
“Our target audience is across the board. We like to have a different atmosphere at different times of the day.
“There will be families at weekends and school holidays but we’ll also be looking at students and seniors.”
The Light’s origins date back to opening a cinema in Bucharest, Romania, in 2008 but it launched in the UK six years ago in New Brighton, Merseyside.
Other sites are in Cambridgeshire, Bolton, Dundee, Walsall, Norfolk, Stockport and Sheffield – which opened in April this year – while it recently signed a deal to open in Scarborough.
As well as showing big Hollywood blockbusters, its cinemas feature British and international films and support smaller releases through special previews.
In its most recent financial results for the year to July 2016, the business posted a £3.5m turnover, up from £1.8m – with profit up from £1.1m to £1.5m.
“We’re a fairly young company but one that is very healthy and profitable,” he said.
“We have strong financial backers who are supporting the rollout all the way through. Our business is ahead of us.”
Audiences will be able to use 1,000 full reclining seats with footrests and side tables, while a bar and café will sell craft beer and wine, and a menu including ice cream, popcorn, waffles and organic hotdogs with various toppings.
The Light will show 3D films at no extra charge, but there will be no IMAX screen.
Mr Pullinger said the refreshed retail offer alongside the cinema will be important to the shopping centre’s success.
He said: “This isn’t about one or two new shops or restaurants but really reconfiguring the whole centre and making it fit for the modern age.
“We have every confidence that we will do that and intu has the financial muscle and contacts to sign up the retailers it needs to bring the Broadmarsh back to what it should be.
“The way it will emerge is that the Victoria Centre will continue to have the more premium brands and the Broadmarsh will be more everyday brands that appeal to families and younger people.
Mr Pullinger added: “We only announce things when we’ve formally signed an agreement and we’re now very much looking forward to opening.
“We know we will have a long association with intu as it’s not the type of company that messes around. It has a very strong plan for the Broadmarsh in conjunction with Nottingham City Council.”
Intu is spending £86m on redevelopment the shopping centre and is part of a wider £250m transformation project around the Broadmarsh area funded by the city council, with some government cash coming through the local enterprise partnership, D2N2.