Cinema celebrates blockbuster audiences

David Marsh, manager of The Regal Theatre, in Stowmarket, is celebrating a bumper year
David Marsh, manager of The Regal Theatre, in Stowmarket, is celebrating a bumper year

STOWMARKET’S Regal Cinema is aiming for more blockbuster attendance records in 2012.

Last week it broke the 50,000 mark for the first time in generations as it lived up to its growing reputation as ‘The People’s Cinema’.

Now the council-owned operation is seeing further investment in a digital projector which will allow it to show the very latest 3D films.

Manager David Marsh has set his sights on achieving more success this year and is hoping to break the 55,000-attendance mark.

That sees a remarkable turnaround since it struggled to get only 8,500 customers back in 2004.

But the council brought in consultants, David was appointed and the building even survived an arson attack, which brought a £382,500 insurance claim, after its first refurbishment.

It reopened in March 2010 and in that year some 70 different films were shown.

On Friday, the day before the year ended, cinema supporter Di Johnston, who went with her family to watch Puss In Boots, became its 50,000th customer and was presented with Champagne and free tickets by Mr Marsh.

He said: “It really is fantastic news for the town.”

Films for 2012 will include War Horse, My Week With Marilyn and Iron Lady.