Town cinema pledges £500,000 of investment by 2021

East Coast Cinema, Lowestoft with owner Michael Hansell outside the building.

East Coast Cinema, Lowestoft with owner Michael Hansell outside the building. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The owner of a coastal cinema has pledged to spend half a million pounds on improvements over the next two years.

The move follows the announcement that East Coast Cinema is to remain in Lowestoft for at least the next ten years after negotiations with the cinema's landlord were concluded.

The cinema took over the former Lowestoft Hollywood site on London Road South in October 2009, and have installed modern digital projection and 3D in 2011, alongside a £500k refurbishment in February 2015.

The next set of investment will soon start, with the cinema planning to launch a new website and ticketing system, special 'premier' seating, and further technical and front of house improvements.

The two more phases of the new investment are also in the works, and will be announced in early 2019.

Michael Hansell, owner of East Coast Cinema, said: 'This marks another major turning point for our business. We have held back on major investment these past 12 months due to uncertainty regarding our future but we are now free to begin pumping money back in for further modernisation.

'Our first goal is to bring our cinema bang up to date for our virtual presence and for ticketing purposes.

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'We want buying tickets for films at our cinema to be as easy as possible with a real benefit of booking in advance to not only guarantee seats, but to jump queues very quickly.'

The ticketing update will include an easy collection service in the foyer of the cinema via an ATM, and the addition of a mobile app to bring the cinema fully into the modern age.

New seating will also be added, with the backs of screen one, two, and three to see more comfortable seats installed, with screen four having all of its seats replaced. Screen one will also have more disability spaces put in place.

Mr Hansell added: 'The new more comfortable seats will cost the same to book as the standard seats and will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

'We are continually impressed by the friendliness of Lowestoft people. There is a real community spirit to Lowestoft that is evident each and every time somebody walks through our front doors.'

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