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Futher setback for relaunch of former cinema as lorry ploughs into canopy

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 22, 2014

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A FORMER Burton cinema which is in the process of being transformed into a restaurant and nightclub has suffered a further setback ahead of its grand reopening.

The former Robins Cinema in Guild Street was due to open in May, but that has now been put back after a lorry struck the canopy on the front of the building on Thursday night, causing it to come crashing down on to the pavement, part of which has been closed to pedestrians.

Dee Sandhu, who is involved in the renovation process, told the Mail: “I got a call saying that a lorry had hit the side of the building, so I went out with my brother and spoke to police, who were already there.

“It’s a big blow for us because we were due to open on May 1.”

“We don’t know how much it’s going to cost until we get a quote to have it repaired, and it depends on a number of other factors.

“I can’t put a date on when we’ll be opening as now we’ve got to get in contact with the insurance company and it now it’s down to how long they take to get our claim sorted.”

“I’m busy sorting out other things and this is just a further setback for the reopening.”

The original opening date was scheduled for 2013, but In December the Mail reported that this had not happened due planning restrictions placed on the Grade-II listed building, but that they had since been approved with a planned opening date this spring.

The cinema, which first opened in 1935 as The Ritz and closed in 1999, has had its seats ripped out of both auditoriums to create one large room. The plan is set to see a nightclub open upstairs while a buffet restaurant which will seat 350 people will open on the ground floor. A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said: “We received a call at 8.10pm on Thursday and two police cars attended the scene. A lorry had struck the building, damaging the overhang. No-one was injured and police also called for the Highways Agency.”

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