The cinema at the Harlequin theatre in Redhill is set to reopen this October half-term after a closure of more than a year for refurbishment.
The new-look Waller Studio – formerly the Waller Cinema – will have 91 seats, with high backs, plush padding and cup holders, as well as new carpets and LED lighting.
There will be space for eight wheelchairs and a removable front row, and the venue will continue to hold dementia-friendly and baby club screenings.
The entrance, in the upstairs foyer of the Harlequin, will boast a new colour scheme, wood panelling and a red carpet.
A new till point, and a kiosk selling pick ‘n’ mix, popcorn and sweets, have also been added.
The Waller Studio will open on Friday 25 October, with half-term daytime screenings of “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”. In the evening, “The Joker” will be playing.
As a special offer, tickets booked for screenings 26 October – 3 November (inclusive) will be £5 each, and customers will receive a voucher for a £5 cinema ticket for their next visit too.
From 4 November tickets will normally be priced at £9 for adults, and £8 for children and concessions.
Details of what’s on and the box office can be found on the Harlequin website.
The Waller Studio will also host comedy shows and smaller gigs, as well as being available for hire.
The theatre complex is owned by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council. In September Cllr Alex Horwood, executive member for wellbeing, said: “Our main aim with refurbishing the cinema to create the new-look, multipurpose Waller Studio was to improve the overall customer experience.
“We wanted to enhance our offering to include new releases, better snacks and a grand entrance.
“The Harlequin has a loyal following here in Redhill and the surrounding areas, and we hope that our new cinema shows our commitment to providing a high-quality entertainment service for our community.”
The project started last September and had originally been predicted to finish that October.
At a council meeting this July Lib Dem and Green councillors asked the Conservative administration about the delay.
Cllr Horwood responded that the council was “working hard” to reopen for this October half-term, and that the delay had been down to “ongoing contractual issues with the supplier”.
Cllr Horwood confirmed that there had been a loss of income but said that cost efficiencies and operational improvements across the Harlequin had meant the council had not needed to increase the annual subsidy it provides.
He also said the financial impact had been lessened by showing films in the theatre’s main auditorium.