Take a first look inside the new Cineworld at Dalton Park
It's almost time to take your seat as the newest cinema prepares to welcome in its first film fans.
Cineworld at Dalton Park has been in the pipeline for more than a decade as part of its £45million phase two leisure park plans.
While the seven-screen complex is still a building site, with the screens and fixtures and fittings to go in place, the venue is beginning to take shape, with seats in place and projection kit installed.
Bosses promise it will offer the best technology in the business, with customers to expect a top-of-the range experience.
The cinema is on schedule to open its doors at 11am on Friday, September 9, with its first ever film and its opening programme being finalised ahead of its publication date of Friday, August 26.
Staff training is in hand, with 24 workers and four mangers picked from the cream of the 800-plus applicants, a response which has floored its leaders.
The team has also been taken aback by the interest from the local community.
Nick Bashford, who has worked at six of the company’s sites in the last decade, is its general manager.
He said: “All our staff will be local and that is a big focus of Cineworld, we’re a big advocate of looking locally and everyone lives within 10 or 15 minutes travelling time from here.
“People are building bonds and locals have more pride in it, and I know one of my managers lives just across the road, and so he knows the area and has been putting people forward for jobs.
“It’s that passion about being in the Murton and Seaham area as well, it’s excellent.
“Our Facebook page gets five or 10 messages in a day asking different questions, messages from schools and different groups, all really looking forward to it opening.”
Shaun Jones, head of operations for Cineworld in the UK, added: “As a business we’ve come into Dalton Park and we’re quite excited because the development has a mix of retail and food, and now of course leisure.
“That all works together in harmony and works really well for us.
“We’ve put in NEC digital technology projection systems, which are like the Waitrose of projectors.
“It’s very advanced kit.”
Once through the doors, visitors will be taken up to the foyer on an escalator to the main foyer, where they will be able to pick up popcorn, chose from 12 flavours of ice cream at Baskin and Robins, select from a large amount of sweets at Candy King, collect an Ice Blast slush, or a hot dog, nachos, soft drinks and beers and wines with their tickets.
It will seat a total of 1,000 people, with 240 seats in its largest screen to just 50 in its smallest, which is expected to be popular with parties, conferences and private screenings.
Its 3D technology and latest NEC projection gear will also give it the chance to live screen performances from the National Theatre and the opera.
Disabled access has been made a priority, with boxes set aside in three of the screens which will offer guests the best views.
Each screen will also have an audio description services available and will also offer autism-friendly screenings.
Cineworld Juniors will run at weekends and during holidays will see £2 tickets offered to youngsters, and there is also the potential of a Cinebabies session being launched if there is demand from parents who want to catch the latest features during special viewings.
Holders of Cineworld Unlimited cards will be given special offers, while Meerkat Tuesday and Wednesdays see customers of the comparison site two-for-one offers.