More than half a million pounds is being spent refurbishing one of the county’s rare independent cinemas.
Kevin Markwick, owner of the Uckfield Picture House, said improvement work is well ahead, but is set to halt over the busy Christmas and New Year period, starting again in January. The cinema will not close.
Alterations include moving the entrance to Screen One, a bigger screen and raising the floor which will be ‘stepped’. Fewer seats should also give more legroom.
There will be new seats throughout with cup holders, new carpet, new air conditioning and better sound. There will also be a new soundproof wall between Screens One and Two. This will augment a wall that divided the original balcony and stalls when the original conversion to two screens took place in 1978.
Outside scaffolding has been set up and redecoration goes ahead with new roof tiles for the turret and a new flagpole.
The programme is going to schedule and and when work began on Screen Three, two weeks ago, Sunday’s credits rolled and the seats came out - while work continued to be done on Screen One.
During the process of taking out ‘the old’, Kevin says glimpses have been seen of the cinema’s history with the old well where the piano used to go during the silent era; old staircases, flooring and decor from different eras of its history.
In the new year the foyer will be doubled in size, have a new bar and side extension for better access. Work will also start then on Screen Two during this time.