Cineworld takes front row seat in Arndale extension

Cineworld, the UK's leading cinema chain, has today (Wednesday October 22) confirmed that it will be moving to the heart of Eastbourne to take up pride of place in the new extension at the Eastbourne Arndale Centre.

The move into a brand new purpose-built digital cinema will take place in late 2017 or early 2018, once the Arndale extension is completed.

Cineworld is hoping to continue operating from its current site in the Sovereign Harbour Retail Park and is aiming for a seamless transition into its new home. The company has approached its current landlord to achieve this outcome.

This will ensure film-lovers in Eastbourne and the surrounding area will continue to have access to a wide range of films and event cinema, including all the latest blockbuster releases.

Kevin Frost, UK Property Director at Cineworld, believes the town centre location will allow even more people to enjoy a great cinema experience in a more accessible setting.

He said: "Sovereign Harbour has been a great home for us over the years and we have been made to feel very welcome by the community there. But we now feel the time is right to take up a more central location within the town and we are delighted to be moving into the new Arndale extension towards the end of 2017 or early 2018.

"By continuing to trade until our moving date we will both safeguard jobs and continue to offer the people of Eastbourne a welcoming cinema to watch all the latest movies."

News of the Cineworld move was welcomed as a giant leap forward for the town centre's evening economy by politicians from the two main parties.

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said: "This will quite simply revolutionise the evening life-style of the town centre. We will have seven new restaurants on the first floor of the Arndale extension, a brand new cinema to entice people of all ages to come into the town centre and all this will increase trade for all our town centre restaurants. This is great news for our town."

Cllr David Tutt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said the nine-screen digital cinema was the icing on the cake for the Arndale extension. He said: "It will provide a modern, state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of the town centre, easily accessible to residents and visitors alike. Cineworld's arrival will be a great addition and I know people will turn out in large numbers to support it."

Cllr David Elkin said he would be sad to see Cineworld leaving Sovereign Harbour, but was hoping that it would be able to continue trading there for at least another three years.

He said: "Residents of Sovereign Harbour have been very supportive of the cinema over the years and have enjoyed easy access to all the latest films. However, I believe the addition of a multi-screen cinema into the Arndale extension is understandable."