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Multiplex ambition being "brought forward" following Hollywood cinema closure

PUBLISHED: 16:06 20 February 2019

The edge leisure complex will also include a cinema and casino. Picture: Joe Norton

The edge leisure complex will also include a cinema and casino. Picture: Joe Norton

Archant

The man behind The Edge casino and leisure complex has said there is "clear interest" in bringing a multiplex cinema to Yarmouth.

The Premier Inn is on course to open at Easter on Great Yarmouth's seafront. Picture: Joe NortonThe Premier Inn is on course to open at Easter on Great Yarmouth's seafront. Picture: Joe Norton

Pleasure beach boss Albert Jones confirmed he was working hard behind the scenes to bring movie screens to the town following the collapse of the Hollywood chain.

With the landmark picture house shrouded in darkness since February 7, when the bombshell closure was announced, the project and thinking were being brought forward, he said.

His comments came as administrators confirmed today that the keys to the Hollywood Cinema had been handed back to the owners.

The planning permission for Mr Jones’s scheme incorporates a casino, a hotel, car parking, bowling, multiplex cinema, restaurants and bars next to the Pleasure Beach.

He was named as the preferred operator some seven years ago with bingo impresario Patrick Duffy the only other contender.

An image of what the new Premier Inn taking shape at The Edge will look like. Photo: Arch e-tech Design Ltd An image of what the new Premier Inn taking shape at The Edge will look like. Photo: Arch e-tech Design Ltd

Mr Duffy has since brought the old Palace Cinema in Gorleston high street back to life, and it is now the only movie theatre in the borough.

At the South Denes site a Premier Inn and Beefeater restaurant are going up ahead of an Easter opening marking the completion of phase one.

Mr Jones said getting everything ready for the launch was a priority but he confirmed there was interest from cinema operators and that the Hollywood’s closure potentially made it a more attractive environment with no real competition in the resort.

He said: “There is certainly interest for a big cinema.

“Knowing there is no other cinema in the town has brought our thinking and our project forward and we are working hard behind the scenes.”

Film fans reacted with shock and disappointment to the announcement on February 7 that Hollywood Cinemas had been placed into administration, with Norwich and Great Yarmouth shutting immediately and Dereham carrying on with new owners.

Director Trevor Wicks said at the time that “a part of him had died”.

He said: “It is with a very heavy heart that I have had to place the company into administration.

“I would like to thank the millions of loyal customers that we have had over the last 30 years and, most importantly, the wonderful staff, both past and present”

Nick Cusack of Parker Andrews, the appointed administrator, said: “We no longer have any interest in the sites at Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

“The keys have been handed back to the landlords.

“The future of the respective buildings is now in their hands.”

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