Cinema complex to get new look after escaping the axe

Vue Cinema at the Capitol Centre
Vue Cinema at the Capitol Centre
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A cinema complex is to get a state of the art facelift just a year after it was earmarked for demolition.

Vue in Walton-le-Dale has been spared after a major retailer pulled out of a plan to open up on the Capitol Centre.

An application has now been submitted to South Ribble Council for planning permission to carry out a major upgrade of the building.

Opened in 1991, the cinema is now described by its owners as “dated” and typical of multiplexes built 25 years ago.

“It has not been modernised since it was built,” says a report to the planning committee.

“Vue are now committed to remaining at the Capitol Centre. Accordingly they wish to create a state of the art modern cinema.”

In March last year planning permission was granted to demolish the cinema to make way for a new retail unit.

“It was anticipated at the time that the Vue cinema would close and that the site would be taken up by a major retailer, not currently represented at the Capitol Centre,” continued the planning report.

“However, since the consent was granted, the interest of the major retailer has fallen away and, significantly, Vue have committed themselves to remain.”

The plan to upgrade the complex involves knocking down the entrance and building a new “contemporary and striking” frontage.

Major refurbishment work will also go on inside the building to bring it up to date.

The application comes after plans to build a nine-screen Vue multiplex at the rear of the Fishergate Centre in Preston as part of a £40m development were withdrawn in April.

Bosses said at the time that they had been left with no alternative because planning chiefs had recommended the scheme should be refused.

At the time Vue, which has 80 cinemas throughout the UK, said it was committed to continuing in Walton-le-Dale regardless of the Fishergate scheme.

The refurbishment application follows a plan by neighbouring Preston Council is to demolish its indoor market hall in the city centre and build a huge cinema complex with 11 screens in its place.

The last cinema in Preston city centre closed its doors in 1992.