The iconic Dome Cinema in Worthing is to get a third screen, it has been announced.
The plan is to turn the former Tourist Information Centre at the front of the building into Screen 3, which will seat between 40 and 50 people in comfortable armchair-style seats and a number of two-seater sofas.
Ross McLaughlin, Dome manager and technical site manager, said: “We are thrilled by the opportunities that an extra screen affords us, as we are already one of the best performing two-screen sites in at least the country, and probably also further afield - a fact we are immensely proud of as a fully independent business that receives no subsidy from the council.
“This new screen will allow us to bring more films to the town and hold popular films for longer. A third screen is just the first in a line of exciting developments that we hope to bring to the town.
“This is an investment in the future of the Dome as the jewel in Worthing’s entertainment crown.
“We are keenly aware of the Dome’s history and look to honour that history while future-proofing it for generations to come. We look forward to welcoming more of Worthing and the surrounding areas through our doors, and giving them a classic experience with modern technology.”
Work is underway and PDJ Cinemas says it has been working with the relevant authorities to ensure there is no damage to the Grade 2* listed building.
Company director Paul Jervis said: “The Dome is not just a business but a passion and it is an honour for us to be the current custodians.
“All works will be carried out in a sympathetic manner and reflect the beauty of The Dome. It is our intention to make it the stand-out cinema in the UK and enforce its iconic stature within Worthing.”
The opening date for Screen 3 is still to be confirmed but the management team hopes the work will be completed before the release of Avengers: Infinity War at the end of April.
The stunning Edwardian cinema first opened in April 1911. It was restored to its former glory by a charitable trust but PDJ Cinemas, which has operated the cinema since 2007, took ownership two years ago in a sale triggered by unpaid debts.
While initial concerns were raised that the historical building would be redeveloped, as has happened with many other historic cinemas across the country, PDJ Cinemas says it has been working to safeguard the history, and future, of one of Worthing’s best loved tourist attractions.
The opulent main auditorium seats 500 and the more intimate electric cinema upstairs has refurbished premier seating for around 100 people.