| The managers of City Centre retail centre have defiantly declared that their £30 million plan is still on track although they have lost their key anchor cinema, due to have been operated by Odeon. |
Building a cinema on top of an existing structure is notoriously difficult says Cinema industry expert, John Sullivan of Cinema Next Consultancy. The construction of a cinema on an existing structure is often double the cost of building on a greenfield site, this will put significant pressure on viability say other industry and property experts.
Peterborough already has a Showcase Cinema which has recently undergone a £7 million fit out and upgrade to the company’s world renowned ‘De Luxe’ standards. Admissions have increased dramatically with customers delighted with the new experience.
This multi million pound investment and vote of confidence in the existing site will make it increasingly difficult for other operators to make a case for a major investment on a second cinema less than a mile away at the Queensgate Shopping Centre.
The shopping centre owners will likely need to significantly increase incentives to gain a cinema presence.
They had previously announced that Odeon would operate the planned 11-screen digital cinema. However, Odeon was acquired last year by AMC Entertainments and there is uncertainty regarding the new owners’ commitment to the venture.
A spokesman for Queensgate managers Lendlease said: “We have opened detailed discussions with two other major national cinema operators because we want to proceed with the extension as planned. This is a pre-emptive move because of the change of circumstances for Odeon. The discussions with the other two operators are detailed – they are not at an early stage.”
The Lendlease spokesman said: “We are still on schedule and we are still committed to completing our extension of Queensgate. “We do have a team reprogramming the development but if there is any delay it will be minimal, maybe by a month.”
Work on the 77,000sq ft development, which will include a string of restaurants and stores, is planned to begin at the start of next year and take about two years to complete.