Independent cinema is to be at heart of new cultural quarter next spring

Royal and Derngate chief executive Martin Southerland breaking ground for the new cinema
Royal and Derngate chief executive Martin Southerland breaking ground for the new cinema

Film-lovers are set to benefit from a new cinema which is due to open in Northampton next spring.

Work began last month on the construction of a new cinema adjoining the Royal & Derngate theatre, which it is hoped will be at the centre of a new cultural quarter in the town.

Independent film-maker Ashley Williams

Independent film-maker Ashley Williams

It will be managed by Royal & Derngate, in partnership with leading independent cinema operator Cityscreen, broadening the range of films available to movie-goers locally. Royal & Derngate say the 90-seat venue will host the best in world, independent, British and mainstream film.

The venture has been welcomed by award-winning Towcester independent film-maker Ashley Williams, who teaches film and animation to school groups for Northants County Council.

Mr Williams won the Judges’ Choice award in Film Northants 2012.

He said: “Personally, I love the idea there might be an independent cinema where I could have a film screened. If there was a purpose-made cinema it would make it a lot easier for independent film-makers and give accreditation to the work you’re doing.

“Students would be more inspired to go and see independent film.

“At the moment, the only thing that even caters to independent cinema is the Picturedrome nightclub.”

The new cinema is set to boast state-of-the-art sound and digital projection equipment and leather seating with side tables, allowing audiences to enjoy a glass of wine with the film.

There are plans for additional events such as film-maker question-and-answer sessions, film festivals and themed seasons.

The cinema development is part of a wider Northampton Alive scheme, an initiative that brings together and promotes the town’s regeneration and heritage projects.

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