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Business booming for St Austell’s cinema

White Cinema Exterior

Cornwall’s first new cinema complex for over 70 years – White River Cinema in St Austell is gearing up for a busy Easter and will be preparing to welcome its 50,000th customer since opening.

Owners WTW Cinemas is reporting ‘consistently strong’ business with ‘record’ admissions during the first quarter of this year (January-March 09) and over the Christmas and New Year period. The two most popular films to date have been Academy award winning ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and children’s feature ‘Bolt’.

White River Cinema has been a huge success with local people and visitors to St Austell since the £3.5 million building on Trinity Street was officially opened on Friday 19 December last year.

Mark Williams, General Manager of White River Cinema said: “Our initial forecasts for business have been more than exceeded. We are absolutely delighted with the first few months of trading and have been overwhelmed by the support, both locally and regionally and from customers who have visited our cinema.”

Mr Williams continued: “It is fantastic for cinema goers in Cornwall that they have state-of-the-art facilities on their doorstep and can enjoy a new and comfortable experience when watching a film. The success of the cinema is good news for other retailers looking to move into White River Place and encouraging for Frankie & Benny’s opening soon”.

The company says that internet ticket bookings show White River Cinema is attracting audiences from across Cornwall including Newquay and throughout mid and east Cornwall.

White River Cinema is expecting audience figures to be high during the upcoming Easter holidays with a number of big releases out including the new Richard Curtis film ‘The Boat That Rocked’ starring Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy and Disney’s ‘Race To Witch Mountain’ and ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’

Mark Williams added: “We were very busy during January and the February half term and the awards season including the Oscars and BAFTAs also boosted sales. We are expecting a busy summer and the current economic climate means that movie-going is more affordable, it’s a relatively low-cost option for going out.”

White River Cinema is part of the wider £75 million St Austell town centre regeneration scheme which is due to be completed in the autumn. WTW Cinemas owns and operates White River Cinema in St Austell, as well as Truro, Wadebridge and Padstow.

The family-run business will submit a full planning application this spring to develop the existing Vic Bars site in Newquay into a new four screen cinema. A public exhibition will be held giving the opportunity for people to view the plans later this spring.

As part of its three year development plan, the company will also refit the existing Plaza cinema in Truro.

Story added 2nd April 2009

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