After months of uncertainty some excellent news, Redcar will finally have its cinema open again with the announcement today (03/08/2022) that Merlin Cinema group will take up the operation.
Merlin are established at running operations of this size predominantly in the West Country and are already reaching out to the local community to offer employment opportunities, including a manager. To apply, further details can be found at email@example.com adding the word ‘Cinema’ in the subject line.
Merlin Cinemas started in 1990 at the Savoy, Penzance in Cornwall. Initially a single screen, it is now a four-screen cinema with bar and restaurant. To date Merlin operate seventeen cinemas at rural and coastal towns across the UK, from “Land’s End to John O’Groats”. They cater for family and autism-friendly screenings and more.
Geoff Greaves the Director of Merlin Cinemas has provided the following quote.
“Seeing a film at the cinema with family or friends is a very different experience to watching the film at home. With the latest digital projection and sound, it is more memorable and offers a sense of occasion. With facilities for children’s parties, private hires, school screenings and presentations, I believe the cinema will be a valuable social amenity and help to invigorate Redcar town centre as well as providing local employment. Cinema-going in the UK has experienced a huge renaissance over recent years with over 180 million visits to the cinema in the year before the pandemic, the signs are that now post-pandemic people are again coming back to see films on the big screen at the cinema. We believe that Redcar deserves a good cinema. and are delighted to have reached an agreement with the council to operate The Regent. We look froward to welcoming local people to the cinema just as soon as the formalities have all been completed.”
Ticket prices are purportedly estimated as follows: A standard adult ticket £8.50; A child ticket £6.50 and a senior £7.50. Magic Movie Card would discount tickets to around £6 for adults, £5.50 for senior adults and £4.50 for children.
I think most of Redcar will be excited by this news, as am I and will be very much looking forward to an announcement for the launch date.
My quote to media following the Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee October 24th 2019
“As ward councillor for Coatham I was afforded the chance to speak at the scrutiny meeting today regarding the Regent Cinema. I expressed the view that the public have not been consulted or provided options other than this fait accompli to demolition of the original building and rebuild. This was echoed within the committee. There are many valid questions the public have and this is an emotive issue but as yet they have not been heard.
“The survey report recommends demolition but does not rule out refurbishment of the existing building. A similar situation occurred with the Billingham Forum building which was saved and listed by the people following a similar report.
“Many people who live in Redcar have rightfully expressed that they were hoodwinked into thinking the building had been saved when this was announced in the summer, only to find out this is a complete demolition and rebuild and the only saving of the Regent Cinema is in name only.
“Cllr Lanigan’s threat of pulling the whole project because I dared to express these valid points was revealing about the confidence the administration has in this project. The Loftus councillor’s suggestion to take this funding and cinema out of Redcar altogether and into East Cleveland was quite frankly bizarre and churlish and should be dismissed as an emotional outburst.
“Cllr Davies comment that accused me of not listening was also ironic. I would say up to now I’m the only person listening to the people of Redcar and offering their right to be heard. I’ll remind him that it was the Labour administration that began this process and would by today have given people choices not this fait accompli. Listening to all views for and against is what the Loftus councillor should have been doing before providing this concept.
“Simply put, we request an immediate public consultation in the shape of an exhibition and for the questions, comments and concerns to be made public before any decision to demolish the original building is made.”