Works starts on new eight-screen cinema

The site for the new cinema.
The site for the new cinema.
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A new eight-screen multi-million pound cinema is expected to open in Craigavon by April next year.

Work flattening buildings at the former Irish Road Motors site at Highfield, Craigavon has already taken place and building work is imminent.

The major development got the thumbs up from Craigavon Borough Council on Monday night.

The development has moved quickly through the planning process since the Dublin-based firm Omniplex took over ownership of the land from Portadown firm Turkingtons who had originally owned and applied for planning permission for a cinema. Four restaurants and car parking are included in the application.

The name on the current application is Omniplex Holdings NI Ltd and has been submitted by its agent HPA Architects which are based in Portadown.

Omniplex is the largest cinema chain in the north, with other outlets including Armagh, Lisburn and Newry.

It is understood the previous owner J H Turkington and Sons Ltd sold the site to Omniplex Ltd in recent months.

However, the ‘MAIL’ also understands that the Turkington firm is the main contractor building the cinema.

Prior to this an application had been submitted to the NI Planning Service by JH Turkington and Sons Ltd for an eight screen cinema complex, five restaurants units, a charity shop, youth activity centre, car parking and related works (amended proposal).

The main difference is a reduction in the number of restaurant outlets from five to four. The charity shop, which had been at the site for a number of years, moved recently prior to the building’s demolition.

The Craigavon area has been eagerly anticipating a new cinema particularly since Centrepoint in Lurgan closed a number of years ago.

Omniplex Group describes itself on its website as 100% Irish owned and with the largest cinema chain in Ireland ‘with over 150 screens in 22 locations in both the Republic and North of Ireland’.

Boasting the latest in projection and digital sound technology, Omniplex Cinemas have become the standard bearer for multiplex facilities. Stadium seating in all screens with superbly comfortable seats and more than ample leg room provide patrons with a first class environment to watch the latest blockbuster movies.