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Newmarket to get long-awaited cinema at the King’s Theatre, in Fitzroy Street

Newmarket’s long-held dream of having its own cinema again is set to become a reality by the end of this month.

Newmarket Cinema is set to open its doors at the King’s Theatre, in Fitzroy Street, after an investment of around £130,000 to provide a new sound system, a cinema projector, an automated screen, electric curtains and a refurbished refreshment kiosk.

And it will be showing the latest films, with the opening programme set to feature Dune 2 and Wicked Little Letters.

Nomads’ Marion Hadley, Josh Schunmann, director of Newmarket Charitable Foundation, Abbeygate Cinema’s Pat Church and Julian Lloyd-Potts, and Nomads chairman Jamie Maguire
Nomads’ Marion Hadley, Josh Schunmann, director of Newmarket Charitable Foundation, Abbeygate Cinema’s Pat Church and Julian Lloyd-Potts, and Nomads chairman Jamie Maguire

The project is the result of a year of work by the Newmarket Charitable Foundation backed by the Abbeygate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds and the Nomads (Newmarket Operatic, Musical and Dramatic Society) which has been based at the theatre for more than 60 years and will continue to put on shows there.

West Suffolk Council has also been involved, securing a grant of £35,000 for the project from the Rural England Prosperity Fund, which has helped to buy equipment and create a fund supporting reduced price entry for those who would normally be prevented from going due to cost-of- living pressures.

Sarah Howard, speaking on behalf of Newmarket Charitable Foundation, which first brought the Mobile Cinema to Newmarket last year, said: “We are delighted to take this pivotal step toward fulfilling the community’s desire for a cinema.”

Utilising the King’s Theatre as our venue, made possible through the support of Nomads, ensures an accessible mid-town venue. Abbeygate Cinemas have been hugely supportive in helping our team bring this project to fruition, and we look forward to sharing the latest films and blockbusters.”

Josh Schunmann, director of Newmarket Charitable Foundation, said the new cinema would have high quality sound and projection equipment as well as a refurbished kiosk to offer what he called a truly cinematic experience.

“We are keen to make the cinema as accessible as possible, so we will offer discounted tickets for children and families in hardship,” he said.

He added the foundation would be continuing to work closely with The Jockey Club to explore the potential of the old Subscription Rooms, the first home of the National Horseracing Museum becoming the home of any future cinema and entertainment venue.

Members of Nomads have welcomed the project. Chairman Jamie Maguire said: “While we will maintain our calendar of theatre events, we are excited to be part of this brilliant initiative.

“The establishment of a cinema in Newmarket has long been discussed, and we are honoured to see our much-loved theatre being used to help bring the project to fruition.”

Lyn Goleby, director at the Abbeygate Cinema, said it was delighted to be part of the project.

“We are committed to delivering quality film experiences in Bury, and we look forward to bringing cinema and satellite theatre and arts programming events from around the world to Kings Theatre,” she said.

Cllr Indy Wijenayaka, West Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for growth, said: “Working together with partners to bring cinema to Newmarket has been and continues to be a long-term goal of West Suffolk Council and we are delighted that a community led solution has been achieved.”

The cinema will be launching a membership programme with opening events, ticket discounts and partnership offers through its launch pages at https://kingscinema.co.uk/KingsCinema.dll/Page?p=703&m=m.

Residents will be able to find updates on the progress of the project and its opening date.