Multi-screen cinema poised to open in town

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It’s Reel – a cinema could be on its way to Chorley.

National chain Reel Cinema has announced its intention to open a six-screen complex at Market Walk shopping centre as part of Chorley Council’s extension plans.

The operator is the first business to publicly declare its commitment to the scheme and will enter into a 20-year lease.

Coun Alistair Bradley, council leader, said: “I am delighted that Reel have committed to Chorley and I think it’s the first stage of us getting the rest of the scheme signed up.

“Once they’re there, we will get the restaurants and the other leisure operators.”

Plans for the 84,000 sq ft Market Walk extension are currently out for public consultation, before a full planning application is submitted in the next few weeks.

The proposed £10m development would include three large retail units and several branded restaurants alongside the cinema, creating up to 200 jobs.

Coun Bradley said talks are at “quite an advanced stage” with retailers and he was “confident” that the council would be able to secure tenants for 65 per cent of the planned units, which is what they want to achieve before work starts on the site.

He added: “I remember when the last cinema closed down in Chorley. It has been a long time and a lot of people said it would never happen, so hopefully we have proved that if you are ambitious you can get things done. Chorley deserves a cinema and retail outlets and the same services other areas have.”

KC Suri, MD of Reel Cinema, said: “We’re really pleased to be signing up to the scheme which is looking to be an exciting development for the town and we look forward to seeing material progress over the next few months.

“Our operations in this region have recently grown significantly, and as we are looking to continue to expand our business for the foreseeable future, Chorley is an ideal place to do this.”

Ian Robinson, of Chorley Empire Community Cinema, which shows films throughout the year at Chorley Little Theatre, said: “One one hand, the development is probably good for the town, from the point of view of Chorley Little Theatre, it might benefit us and bring people into the little theatre. I think we broadly suport it.”

However he said there may now be a question mark over the future of the community cinema.

“We’ll have to have a think,” he said. “Will we stop or carry on?”

But he added: “Even if it goes ahead we will still have the biggest screen and auditorium in Chorley.”