Disappointment for Daventry film buffs as opening of new £12.5m cinema stalled again

Don't crack open the popcorn just yet, the opening of Daventry's cinema has been put back again.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 1:46 pm
A previous front page about the cinema delays.

The highly-anticipated opening of the Arc Cinema has been stalled for remedial work to be carried out by the project’s main contractor.

Willmott Dixon have made a number of attempts to remedy defects related to a ceiling support system affecting all four auditoriums. Their latest works are due to conclude during November, but these delays have prevented the Arc Cinema completing their own fit out in time for Christmas opening.

The remedial work - which must be completed before The Arc Cinema can install their state-of-the-art digital laser projectors and screens, immersive surround sound systems, and luxury leather recliner seats - is being carried out at no extra cost to West Northamptonshire Council or the operator.

Still hard at work. Picture from August.

Much of the other work on the £12.5m Mulberry Place development is largely complete, including the cinema’s foyer, the two restaurant units, and the new public square with decorative fountains. Operators for the restaurants are also lined up.

The cinema will show the latest blockbuster and independent films as well as broadcast screenings of opera, ballet and theatrical productions.

Councillor Lizzy Bowen, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth on West Northamptonshire Council, said: “This is a really exciting project that will deliver a first-class leisure destination, so it’s very frustrating that it won’t open for Christmas as we had hoped.

“Please be assured we are engaging with Willmott Dixon on a regular basis to get the remedial work completed as quickly as possible, so that our partners at The Arc Cinema can complete their fit-out.

“The work that The Arc Cinema have carried out inside the building so far is really impressive and, once finished, this will be a fabulous leisure facility that the people of Daventry and the surrounding area can really be proud of.

“I know there is a lot of anticipation around this development, and I would like to thank everyone for bearing with us as we get closer to completion. We’re just as eager for it to open as you are, and I for one can’t wait to settle down to watch a great movie at this wonderful new cinema.”

Brian Gilligan, of The Arc Cinema, said: “We too are really frustrated that we will not be able to bring The Arc Cinema experience to Daventry in time for the great Christmas releases. The cinema industry has really bounced back after the lifting of lockdown measures, so we know people are really keen to go to visit.

“The foyer areas not affected by the delays have been ready for some time and are an excellent indicator of the quality and style that the people of Daventry can expect when the cinema finally opens.”