The opening of Farnborough’s new cinema has been delayed until Christmas despite initial plans to open it this summer.
Proposals for the Vue cinema were agreed by Rushmoor Borough Council in 2012 and developers hoped to have the site operational by the end of last year – however, Vue later announced that the cinema would be opening in summer this year.
Demolition of the retail units in Kingsmead was completed last October, in preparation for the cinema to be built, and the steel-frame structure for the seats is now in place. But local residents have said they have since seen little progress on the site.
A sign was put up outside Kingsmead car park, on Farnborough Road, at the end of last year stating that the cinema would be arriving this summer, but it has since been taken down.
A spokesman for St Modwen, owner of The Meads, said they were anticipating handing over the completed building to Vue in September to be fitted out, with the aim of opening the cinema before Christmas.
However, they said there was ‘no particular reason’ why the target opening date has been moved back.
The seven-screen cinema, which will have approximately 920 seats, is part of an £80 million project to regenerate Farnborough town centre and will be accompanied by new restaurants.
Andrew Lloyd, chief executive of Rushmoor Borough Council, said he was ‘completely relaxed’ about the cinema opening later as it means St Modwen has more time to finalise which restaurants will be included in the development.
He said: “I think one has to look at the bigger picture here. I am incredibly pleased the project is progressing well. Negotiations are continuing with St Modwen and the restaurants and the whole project is really exciting.
“The fact it might be a couple of months later means the whole experience will be better as you will have the complete refurbishment, rather than just a cinema.”
Council leader Peter Moyle said he was aware of the delay in opening the cinema but said the development was welcome in the town and he hopes it will be as successful as Aldershot’s Cineworld, which opened in October 2012.
Kingsmead car park was also regenerated as part of the project and opened in February following a £1 million refurbishment.
A spokesman for Vue said: “Vue Entertainment is delighted to be opening a new cinema site in Farnborough, however timings are still being finalised with all parties involved in the development."