Cinema vision given widespread backing

Plans have been revealed for a new cinema as part of phase two of the Houndshill Centre in Blackpool
Plans have been revealed for a new cinema as part of phase two of the Houndshill Centre in Blackpool

A cinema planned for Blackpool town centre has been hailed as a new attraction for both residents and visitors.

As revealed in The Gazette on Friday, a planning application has been lodged for the scheme to be built on the Tower Street car park next to the Houndshill Centre.

Claire Smith, president of StayBlackpool, said the proposal for nine screens including an IMAX film theatre would add to the town’s visitor offer.

The proposal replaces a previous blueprint for a hotel on the site, but still includes a Wilko’s store and a restaurant.

Ms Smith said: “A cinema is a far better idea because we don’t need another hotel.

“I was concerned about the negative impact of a hotel on existing hotels in that area.

“But a cinema is good news for visitors and residents, and something else to do on a wet day. Having an IMAX will go beyond the usual experience.”

Coun Mark Smith, ward councillor for Talbot ward and cabinet member for economic development on Blackpool Council, also welcomed the scheme.

He said: “I think having an IMAX cinema would draw people to Blackpool from across the Fylde coast and even further afield.

“It would also help the early evening economy and be good for other businesses such as restaurants.”

The scheme has also been backed by readers on The Gazette’s website.

The Light Cinemas group is expected to operate the new attraction if it gets planning permission when it goes before councillors in September.