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Revamped Regal is a big success story
10:00am Tuesday 27th August 2013 in News
THE Regal Cinema in Port Street, Evesham, re-opened 18 months ago after a restoration costing £2m achieved against all the odds during the collapse of the banking system and the demise of the local regional investment authority.
“Things got pretty tight,”said Ian Wiper. “We will always be grateful to Jack Hegarty and his team at Wychavon for their constant support, to Peter Luff MP and his wife Julia and to the very many volunteers who worked in freezing cold cleaning up years of pigeon droppings, stripping out fixtures and fittings and lovingly restoring the original features.”
Why has the Regal proved so successful?
People like the combination of the old-style restoration with the modern luxury of comfortable seats, lots of legroom and the ability to enjoy a meal and a glass of wine while watching the film – it’s civilized. Many of our customers haven’t been to a cinema for years and only come here because we’re different.
Why is your business different from other cinemas?
The way we communicate with customers and they communicate with us. We have a very active dialogue and people are good enough to write and say how much they love it – which is encouraging – but they are also very quick to tell us when we get it wrong. That’s very helpful.
Is it financially secure?
Yes. We are already performing at year three business plan level.
The main challenge us is to try and level out monthly revenue – traditionally, cinema admissions drop in summer for obvious reasons and because the film industry for some reason produces fewer good films.
But we need to provide stable employment and the building is costly to maintain.
That’s why we are introducing a £24 per month subscription service which delivers free tickets, drinks and many other benefits”.
What are you most proud of?
We’re really proud of the team and the fact that we have the best facilities for disabled guests in the country.
We’re incredibly proud that we’re attracting acts like Al Murray, Rich Hall and now Nigel Kennedy and Leo Sayer to Port Street – the area is really benefitting.
We want to put another floor on the top of the building accessible by lift directly from street level. We already have planning permission but we ran out of money.
It’s important because we will have two additional screens with much smaller capacities than the main auditorium so we can ensure that we always have films on to suit everyone.
The views from up there are fantastic over the Vale and it will have a completely different vibe without in any way impinging on the original auditorium.
It will significantly de-risk the business so we’re hoping we can make it happen.
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