Plans have been submitted which mark the start of the project to create a third screen for Abbeygate Picturehouse in Bury St Edmunds.
Owner Tony Jones has submitted a listed building consent application to create two openings between the Hatter Street cinema and the former Winners bingo building next door.
This will make way for a new foyer area and level access to the ground floor of the buildings.
The new screen, which will house 180 people, will be on the ground floor in the former bingo hall with Cinemas Two and Three remaining on the upper floor.
The additional screen will double the Picturehouse’s seating capacity and the new screen One will feature sofa seating with a pop up bar for some screenings.
Mr Jones said there would also be a small stage and he hoped the venue could be part of next year’s festival offering an intimate venue.
Abbeygate Picturehouse was bought by Mr Jones’s business in June 2014 after the Competitions Commission overuled an attempt by Cineworld to acquire City Screen which owned the Picturehouse cinema chain.
The work is expected to be completed in the spring and the picturehouse offer will stay much the same possibly with a small premium for the new sofa seating said Mr Jones.
“We’re hoping this will serve Bury well over the years to come, “ he added.