Cinema unveils big budget café

Abbeygate Picture House has got a new caf� and bar, called No 4 Hatter Street, 'Pat Church
Abbeygate Picture House has got a new caf� and bar, called No 4 Hatter Street, 'Pat Church
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Movie-goers will be getting a red carpet experience after a historic Bury St Edmunds cinema premiered its new big budget bar and café.

The Abbeygate Picturehouse cinema celebrated the completion of its blockbuster £1 million development last Monday with the opening of No. 4 Hatter Street.

Improvements include new disabled access, a new menu with freshly cooked food, function room and a new entrance.

Long-serving manager Pat Church said the work meant visitors could enjoy a full night out.

“The idea is that instead of being a quick in and out kind of thing, people can come and make a night of it.

“It’s been 18 months in the making and it secures the future of the cinema here for years to come,” he said.

The original 900-seater auditorium became a cinema in 1959 and was bought by Picturehouse Cinemas in 2010, having been under threat of closure.

Mr Church said the Picturehouse approach of a luxury cinema experience had brought about the changes.

“It’s a change we were in need of and were ready for and the feedback we are getting is excellent.

“We want that homely feel, which is why we have the luxury seating, and we try to create a more intimate atmosphere for our customers,” he said.

The new café will feature dishes for tea, brunch and throughout the day, with Canadian chef Alex Rotherham being brought in to run the kitchen.

The expansion has seen the cinema’s staff grow from four to 15.