Get ready for the new IMAX – Backlot Cinema comes to Blackpool – as the contracts are signed and the deal is done! Pictures above from L-R: David King, IMAX, Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, John Sullivan, Backlot Cinema.
New IMAX – Backlot Cinema comes to Blackpool!
The steelwork is going up apace at the Houndshill Shopping Centre extension. Week by week the form is taking shape for the building which will house the new town centre cinema.
And now we know that Blackpool’s new cinema complex will feature one of the largest IMAX screens in the country. 1 August brought a new month and, with it, the announcement that the deal’s been done for a massive 10.8m tall screen!
Now, IMAX has signed up to deliver state-of-the-art, immersive movie experiences. The new multi-screen development will be called Backlot Cinema. Backlot Cinema founder John Sullivan has confirmed his £6m investment in the scheme.
Backlot Cinema, Diner and More
The Backlot Cinema will be the anchor tenant of the Phase 2 extension Houndshill Shopping Centre. It’s bringing nine screens and a total of 850 luxury seats to the heart of Blackpool town centre.
Work is on schedule with steelworks taking shape to build the structure. When finished it will feature groundbreaking IMAX with Laser technology, as well as IMAX’s 12-channel sound technology.
Tourists and locals will enjoy something different to eat, with Restaurants within the development operated as Backlot Diner. Open for all day dining it will have a classic yet contemporary menu, including great shakes and crafty cocktails.
An E-Sports hub is being created within the cinema, as a major part of the cinema offer. It will include an annual event bringing around 5,000 competitors to Blackpool, while a mini film festival will showcase local talent.
The Phase 2 extension will also have a new 22,500 sq ft Wilko home retail store.
Signing the Contracts
Alessandra Pavan Bernacchi is Vice President of Theatre Development at IMAX. He said “We’re thrilled to see this ambitious project come to life, bringing the IMAX experience to new audiences in the area.” Adding “We’re excited for moviegoers who’ll be able to experience the latest blockbuster films in this new state-of-the-art IMAX theatre. It’s sure to become a destination for premium entertainment and events in the community.”
John Sullivan is Founder of Backlot Cinema. He said, “The backlot of a film studio is at the heart of the filmmaking process. It’s where the action really happens – where creativity is allowed to flourish. It seemed an entirely appropriate name for this thrilling entertainment hub. We couldn’t be more excited to be bringing it to this vibrant town.”
The completed Phase 2 scheme will deliver:
- Over 100 jobs created both directly through the scheme and locally
- 0.5 acres of brownfield land developed
- 76,500 sq. ft. of new commercial floorspace
- Approx. over 260 construction jobs created over the build period
- Increase of 1.2m shoppers and visitors to the Houndshill Shopping Centre
More reasons to visit Blackpool Town Centre
Cllr Lynn Williams is Leader of Blackpool Council. She said, “We’re delighted to welcome IMAX and Backlot Cinema to the Houndshill Shopping Centre. It will be a major draw for residents and visitors.
“For the town centre to prosper we must continue to provide new reasons to attract resident and visitors. We need to extend the time of visits into the evening with more entertainment and leisure choices for all the family. The new multi-media cinema complex will also provide something brand new for our residents. It’s combining a state-of-the-art cinematic experience with the availability of new flexible creative spaces. Many artists and businesses will also be able to benefit from them too.”
The scheme is costing £20m overall. It’s been facilitated by £5m of funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Getting Building Fund. (Approved by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in October 2020). Blackpool Council will fund the balance of the scheme through prudential borrowing.
More About IMAX Corporation
IMAX is an innovator in entertainment technology. It combines proprietary software, architecture, and equipment to create experiences to take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios use IMAX theaters to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways. So the IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.
IMAX has headquarters in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with additional offices in London, Dublin, Tokyo, and Shanghai. As of December 31, 2021, there were 1,683 IMAX theater systems operating in 87 countries and territories. Soon there’ll be 1,684 of them – including one in Blackpool!
While you’re here…
Have a look at the homepage of the Live Blackpool website for more of the latest updates.
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