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Cinema Construction

Basildon Borough Council’s new £20 million East Square Cinema Development

As major retailers come under pressure to attract shoppers with leisure-related activities, a growing number of cinema construction projects are being built across the country to help ensure that new developments succeed.

Developers are responding to the growing demand for ‘experiences’ at leisure destinations and a revival in the popularity of the big screen. Cinema attendance in the UK exceeded 177 million in 2018, the highest level since 1970.

According to agents CBRE there were 33 new multiplex cinemas in the three-year development pipeline in the UK at the end of 2018. Half of the schemes are set to be located in shopping centres, rather than out-of-town leisure parks.

A recent report on the future of leisure commissioned by Legal & General Investment Management, envisages the spread of so-called ‘fusion cinemas’ which use new technology and act as anchor tenants for schemes. By the mid-2020s, it sees UK cinemas acting as cultural community spaces with film screenings running alongside co-working, education and dining events.

According to the latest Glenigan Construction Review, the value of cinema and theatre project starts was up 20% in the three months to April, compared to the period a year earlier. This growth also comes against an improving background for hotel & leisure starts, which rose 32% to £973 million over the same period.

New flagship schemes

A series of new flagship leisure and retail schemes are taking shape around the country where new cinemas are playing a prominent role.

The £26 million Dolphin Shopping Centre which is being developed by Legal & Assurance in Poole, for example, will include a new multiplex Empire cinema alongside four new restaurants. Tenders have been returned and work is set to start on the project later this summer (Glenigan Project ID: 17333277).

Meanwhile, work has recently started on Basildon Borough Council’s new £20 million East Square Cinema Development which will involve the construction of a 10 screen cinema alongside six restaurant units. Simons Group is the main contractor on the scheme where work will continue until next summer (Glenigan Project ID: 17364998).

A new venue for filmgoers will be the focal point of a major £19.97 million refurbishment of the Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead. Construction work on The Marlowes Cinema is set to start next Spring and continue for 15 months (Glenigan Project ID: 19063720).

Communal facilities

Communal facilities for watching films are also being included in some major residential schemes around the country. On the £48 million Dock 5 build to rent development in Salford, a series of ‘cinema rooms’ are to be included alongside 389 new flats. Construction work on the scheme is set to start towards the end of this year (Glenigan Project ID: 17086256).

The larger cinema chains are also creating construction work as they invest in refurbishing and updating premises to attract filmgoers. Tenders have recently been returned on a £500,000 project for alterations at Cineworld Cinema’s Brighton Marina venue where work is set to start later this year (Glenigan Project ID: 19057973).

Meanwhile, construction work is set to start later this summer and tenders have been returned on a refurbishment of Cineworld in Glasgow’s Renfrew Street, which is also worth £500,000 (Glenigan Project ID: 19146976).