Work has begun to return Longridge’s historic Palace Cinema to its former glory, making it bigger and better than it has ever been before.
Scaffolding is currently in place on the outside of the cinema in Market Place, while necessary repairs to the building take place.
“We want to get everything up and running and go on from there,” said new owner Lara Hewitt.
Longridge-based Lara has revealed to the News that plans are in place to bring the cinema into the modern age through the likes of online booking and a fresh feel to its interior.
The 36-year-old said: “We want to offer a more ranged programme of films, bringing more than one to the screen every week.
“Longridge has a very mixed demographic so it’s all about applying that to this.”
The refurbishment comes after the cinema was bought by Lara’s father, Tony Hewitt, in December 2017.
Tony, founder and executive chairman of the Parkwood Group and a well respected member of the town, sadly passed away on New Years Eve last year. Plans prior to his passing were for the pair to run the cinema jointly.
Lara, who recently moved back to Longridge after six years teaching drama in Germany and Sri Lanka, said: “I was supposed to be doing this with my dad and I was really looking forward to doing it with him.
“Lots of people – my siblings, mum, and the people of Longridge – have been helping out since he passed.
“I’m very excited about the project but sad he wont be there with us on opening night.”
An initial opening of March 2017 has been tabled with further investment to come as and when the time is right.
Lara said: “I’m hoping to bring a film festival to the town and involve local artists in decorating the inside. But don’t worry, the tea and coffee will remain!”