A brand new £8 million leisure complex was due to officially open in Thetford last night...and films will be showing from today (December 2).
The much-anticipated Thetford Riverside scheme, which is comprised of a cinema, hotel and five restaurant units, took 17 months to build.
To mark the opening last night, local dignitaries were invited to attend a celebratory event at which Cllr Bill Borrett, Breckland Council’s chairman, was expected to cut a ceremonial ribbon, declaring the Bridge Street complex officially open for business.
To add to the celebrations, 80 schoolchildren, along with their family and friends, were invited to a private film screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ahead of the new cinema’s public opening today.
Cllr Borrett said: “This exciting new development is a key part of the council’s vision for the town and offers brand new leisure opportunities to Thetford’s residents, as well as creating more than 100 jobs. It will also attract visitors from further afield and provide a catalyst for further growth in the town and across the district.” The development was delivered on budget by Breckland Bridge, a joint venture partnership between Breckland Council and The Land Group. David Winch, director of Land Group, said: “We are very content with how the Thetford Riverside complex has gone and it is an important day for Thetford going forward, now that it has considerably enhanced leisure facilities in the form of this fantastic new cinema as well as a hotel which is trading exceptionally well, alongside other restaurant and café units.”
Riverside’s 64-bed Travelodge hotel opened its doors to the public in October, while its three-screen digital cinema, run by The Light, is set to open today, featuring extra wide, comfy seating in each of its fully-licensed screens, which boast 2D and 3D visuals with state-of-the-art digital picture and sound.
Cinema-goers will also be able to make use of a café and bar before or after watching their chosen blockbuster, art-house film, or ballet, opera or theatre screening.
The largest of Riverside’s five restaurant units will open as a Grand Central Bar and Grill around the New Year, offering tasty American-style dining.
Negotiations are underway with prospective tenants who are interested in the remaining units, which all feature outside terraces for al fresco dining.