A major multimillion-pound refurbishment of Woking’s Ambassadors Cinema is gathering pace ahead of a hoped-for reopening date once work is completed this summer.
The Ambassadors Cinema closed in September 2019 as part of a joint investment plan between Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) and Woking Borough Council to transform the much-loved venue into a new and exciting state-of-the-art entertainment facility.
A significant collaboration in the town’s transformation programme, the plans include the introduction of spacious high-quality auditoriums, new bars and a lounge, and the addition of a luxury screen, bringing the total number of screens available up to seven.
A Media Room and Learning Space for education, research and meetings is also planned at the cinema which first opened almost three decades ago.
“Although we have had to close our beautiful theatre for the time being, we have been able to carry on with our project to rebuild the cinema,” Simon Thomsett, Ambassadors Cinema Project Director, said.
“It’s taken some time and a lot of careful work to ensure our contractors can work safely but we have kept going and are on track to finish the job later this summer and be ready to open when the authorities allow us to do so.”
The reopening of UK leisure facilities such as cinemas falls under stage three of the government’s roadmap and will occur no earlier than 4 July. However, the government will need to assess “further detailed scientific advice” closer to the time to determine detailed timelines and any new safety measures required.
This week, the cinema’s order of new high-spec seats finally arrived from Australia in 1,500 separate boxes and are now ready to install, while nine new air-handling units have already been successfully lifted onto the venue’s roof by crane from Jubilee Square.
“It has been really exciting to see the new spaces begin to take shape over recent weeks,” Simon, who is also Director of Woking’s New Victoria Theatre, said. “Equally important has been all the behind-the-scenes work to make sure we can provide the highest levels of comfort when we all return.”
“Although we have to work under unusual conditions and have had to put some very important control measures in place to allow us to carry on working, we are making progress and are planning for the moment we can’t wait for – the day we open our doors and invite our brilliant audiences back to enjoy the amazing new, state-of-the-art cinema. We hope it will be soon and we look forward to seeing everyone then.”
For 28 years, the cinema, which is based in the heart of Woking’s Peacocks Shopping Centre, has maintained a world class level in delivering blockbusters, live screening and world cinema events and has won several awards along the way.
The all-round upgrade will give film goers a local and premium independent cinema experience with state-of the art projection and industry-leading sound equipment.