Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre has announced that its new Digital Cinema will open on Friday 12 July 2013,  following a substantial upgrade to the venues’ existing projection, screen and film presentation sound system.

Work to remove the venues old 35mm projection equipment has been ongoing for some weeks, and audiences will be able to look forward to films and live events being screened using the new equipment.

Over £150K has been invested in the project, making the Marina Theatre one of the largest and most up to date cinema operations in the region. A brand new screen, new digital sound and projection system are currently being installed with completion on schedule for next week.

The Marina Theatre Trust has operated the venue since December 2011 and the investment in the new Cinema has been made possible through the assistance of the Digital Funding Partnership and Waveney District Council. The new Cinema is another major boost to the Edwardian Theatre which underwent a major refurbishment of its main auditorium last Summer and has subsequently opened a new café, art gallery and box office in premises next to the venue – which were joined with a glass link last November following a major fundraising initiative.

Marina Chief Executive, Martin Halliday said,

“We are pleased to announce that following a major investment from the Trust, Digital Funding Partnership and Waveney District Council, that the Marina Theatre will now house one of the most modern cinema operations in the UK with one of the region’s largest screens and the benefit of a fully digital sound and projection system. Over the past two years many old 35mm systems have been withdrawn across the UK, making it more difficult for us to obtain films. Audiences will now be able to catch the very best in film entertainment on our Big Screen, with the added benefit of a substantially improved quality of presentation.”

The Marina Theatre has been screening films since the 1930s and spent a substantial part of its life as a mainstream Cinema within the former ABC chain. As part of this heritage, the 35mm projector used for screening films at the Marina over the past 25 years is now proudly on display in the theatre café

Steve Perrin, CEO of the Digital Funding Partnership says;

“It is so pleasing to see venues such as the Marina Theatre be equipped with the latest digital projection equipment. Venues such as this are a focal point of the community and the new equipment will allow it to continue to offer the widest range of films to its audience and to secure its long term future. The Digital Funding Partnership, an organisation set up and run by independent cinema owners, was aimed precisely at such a venue so that it could convert its projection equipment under the best possible terms and conditions. The DFP is delighted to have been of assistance to the Marina and we wish it well for the future.”

Waveney District Council’s Deputy Leader and chair of the Trust Partnership Board , Cllr Stephen Ardley added,

“The Marina Theatre continues to go from strength to strength and I am delighted that through our ongoing partnership with the Trust, that we have been able to support them in their substantial upgrade of the film projection and sound systems.”

Marina Theatre Trust Chairman, Hazel Clover said,

“The Cinema operation at the Marina Theatre is integral to our programme, with many thousands of patrons enjoying quality film presentations each year. Our partnership with Waveney District Council continues to flourish and we thank them and the Digital Funding Partnership for their huge support in enabling us to achieve another substantial improvement here at the Marina Theatre.”

The first film to be screened using the new equipment at the Marina will be a premiere screening of Summer In February which stars Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, Dominic Cooper, Emily Browning and Hattie Morahan.

Under the looming shadow of World War One, a group of free-spirited artists known as the Lamorna Group settled in west Cornwall. They included Alfred ‘A. J.’ Munnings, an impressively talented firebrand who later became president of the Royal Academy.

Based on Jonathan Smith’s novel and actual events, director Christopher Menaul’s film focuses on the fateful love triangle between Munnings, the upper-class bohemian Florence Carter-Wood, and the Lamorna Estate’s land agent, Gilbert Evans.

The affair unsettled the laissez-faire dynamic of the artists’ colony, and Summer In February brilliantly captures both their passions and the social mores of the time.

Evocatively shot using many of the original locations, Marina bosses are confident that the film will be a perfect opportunity to showcase the new cinema at the Marina.

Admission prices to films at the Marina are also set to remain great value. From July 12 tickets will be priced at £5 each for adults, with concessions & Theatre Friends at £4.50. All tickets purchased in advanced will be priced at £4.

Performances of Summer In February take place nightly at 7.30 from Friday 12 through until Thursday 18 July with matinee screenings taking place at 2.30 on Tuesday 16 & Thursday 18 July. Details of future film screenings at the Marina Theatre will be announced in the coming weeks, to book for Summer In February, please call the Box Office on 01502 533200.


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