Five weeks to go: The Ely Standard has a behind-the-scenes look at the new Ely Cineworld

PUBLISHED: 09:44 04 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:11 04 April 2017

Members of the press were given a behind-the-scenes tour of Cineworld Ely. PHOTO: Keith Mindham Photography

Members of the press were given a behind-the-scenes tour of Cineworld Ely. PHOTO: Keith Mindham Photography

Keith Mindham

There are just over five weeks to go until Ely’s new Cineworld cinema is opened to the public – and Ely Standard reporter Seb Pearce was given an exclusive behind-the-scenes look ahead of its big launch.

Cineworld Ely facts

• The cinema makes up part of the £13.6 million Ely Leisure Village

• It will have 954 seats over six screens, with 15 dedicated disabled seats

• It is the third Cineworld in Cambridgeshire, with other cinemas St Neots and Huntingdon

The new city cinema – the company’s 83rd in the UK – will boast 954 seats, three 3D screens and a Baskin-Robbins ice cream counter but, for now, is still an active construction site.

Builders and contractors in high-visibility jackets and hard hats are scattered around the site and the story is the same inside.

The foyer, which in five weeks’ time will be filled with film fanatics, is a shell, with only a few workers laying the cinema’s sparkling floor tiles in view.

Members of the press on the behind-the-scenes tour of Cineworld Ely. PHOTO: Keith Mindham PhotographyMembers of the press on the behind-the-scenes tour of Cineworld Ely. PHOTO: Keith Mindham Photography

“The floor will reflect up onto the ceiling,” says general manager Matt Shaw. “You’ll only find flooring like this in our cinemas.”

While the foyer may still be coming to life, the cinema’s auditoriums are ready to go.

We’re shown into screen three, which is kitted out with 155 padded red seats and a special disabled viewing platform – the only thing missing is the screen.

Cineworld divisional director, Kelly Drew and Cineworld Ely general manager Matt Shaw. PHOTO: Keith Mindham PhotographyCineworld divisional director, Kelly Drew and Cineworld Ely general manager Matt Shaw. PHOTO: Keith Mindham Photography

“We have the screens rolled out and installed from the top,” says Matt.

“We can’t do that at the moment because the room has to be 20 degrees so that the screen can be stretched over the metal framing.”

Cineworld will bring 30 new jobs to Ely – but there’s bad news for anyone wanting a job at the new cinema.

Work is still underway ahead of Cineworld opening in Ely on May 12.Work is still underway ahead of Cineworld opening in Ely on May 12.

“We’ve already filled the 30 positions,” says Matt. “We had over 200 applicants come to our open day at the Maltings last month.

“We have a great range of ages coming to work here and we will give all our staff the proper training before they start later this month.

“The vast

Cineworld divisional director, Kelly Drew, Cineworld Ely general manager Matt Shaw and site manager, Brian Kerr. PHOTO: Keith Mindham PhotographyCineworld divisional director, Kelly Drew, Cineworld Ely general manager Matt Shaw and site manager, Brian Kerr. PHOTO: Keith Mindham Photography

Matt then directs us to the projector room, where there isn’t a roll of film in sight.

“Everything is digital now,” he says. “We control it all through a computer meaning if, for any reason, we need to stop the film we can just pause them.

“We have brand new projectors in Ely, so we’re very lucky.”

Cineworld will welcome its first customers on May 12 and Matt expects it to a busy summer at Ely’s first multi-screen cinema.

“We have ‘Alien:Convenant’ showing during the launch weekend but after that we have Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ and ‘Baywatch,’ so it’s going to be an exciting time,” he said.


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