Big screen is back

Paul Jervis at The Island, St Annes.
Paul Jervis at The Island, St Annes.

ROLL film!

The Island cinema in St Annes is ready to roll again after an absence of almost two years.

General manager Linda Wong

General manager Linda Wong

And its new owners have lined up a magical return for the popular seafront attraction tomorrow with the showing of the latest and last Harry Potter film in 3D.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be the first ever screening of 3D cinema in St Annes.

The cinema is now under the new ownership of PDJ Management, run by West Midlands-based businessman Paul Jervis.

Paul said preparations had gone well and that everyone connected with the cinema was excitedly awaiting the curtain going up.

“It is going very well.

“We are ready for the 22nd and definitely opening with Harry Potter in 3D,” he said.

Improvements and redevelopment work has been taking place at the cinema for weeks.

Paul explained: “We’ve had to replace quite a lot of equipment which was damaged due to a lack of use.

“We’ve had new screens put in and new lenses.”

As regards the building in general, he added; “We’ve had to totally re plumb it and had a lot of new wiring and new plastering.”

A staff recruitment drive is taking place, too, which has resulted in the appointment of a new general manager for the cinemas.

She is Linda Wong, who arrives at the Island from the Grand Theatre in Blackpool where she was head usher.

“My background is actually in live theatre, so cinema is obviously a new venture for me,” said Blackpool-born Linda, 31, who lives with her husband Andy in St Annes.

“It’s totally different, which I’m finding out now, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and making the cinema a vibrant place to be again.”

She said it was hoped to have four cinemas running tomorrow and five in total in the future, featuring “more box office hits”.

And judging by the reaction so far to the reopening folk can’t wait.

“While we’ve been here doing work with the door open, people have called in asking when we are opening and saying it’s exciting seeing a local cinema again in St Annes,” said Linda.

Linda has experience of working at two theatres in Sheffield; with Hot Ice at the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool; building sets and props for 3D Creations in Yarmouth; and as sound and lights technician at Blackpool Tower.