By Gary Smee 26/01 Updated: 02/02 12:00
THE MAGIC of the big screen finally returned to Evesham as the Regal Cinema flung open its doors for the first time in almost a decade.
Hundreds of people packed into the refurbished Port Street building on Saturday (January 21) as the three year multi-million pound project came to fruition.
Contractors and volunteers worked through the night to get the cinema ready for the opening event which saw 300 guests pack into the auditorium.
Badsey born comedian Alistair McGowan, who has championed the project from the start, was the star of the show and he was joined by Evesham's MP Peter Luff and one of the most promising young opera singers in the UK, Kirsty Anderson.
Earlier in the day dozens of excited children enjoyed the resurgence of Chum Club - popular with their parents and even some of their grandparents - and watched the first film of the new era, Puss in Boots.
The £2.25 million project has been carried out by developers Lumiere Kinesis and seen a full revamp of the main auditorium including a giant screen with 3D capabilities and state-of-the-art sound system, a new coffee shop and upstairs bar.
Two smaller screens are planned for upstairs in the new roof top auditorium in the spring.
Emma Heathcote-James, spokeswoman for the Regal, said the revival of the cinema was crucial for the town.
"It feels like we've got our heartbeat back and the support from the public has been overwhelming," she said.
"From the outside we are an Art Nouveau building on a corner of Port Street but it's only upon walking through our main front doors that the magic begins and The Regal unravels in all its splendour."
For a full listing of events and films at the Regal in the coming weeks log onto www.theregal.ac to download a programme or pop into the cinema to pick one up.
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