14:49 Tuesday 17 December 2013

Delay for former cinema opening

Written byHELEN KREFT

THE opening of a former cinema set to be transformed into a club and restaurant has been delayed by up to six months, it has been revealed.

Dee Sandhu, who has been busy helping to renovate the former Robins cinema, in Guild Street, Burton, into a restaurant and nightclub, has said planning issues connected with the Grade-II listed building has delayed its October opening this year, until March or April next year.

It comes after East Staffordshire Borough Council has now approved the final plans which include replacing the Robins sign with a Robins World Buffet advert for the new restaurant.

Mr Sandhu said this approval marks the final hurdle.

He said: “We had quite a few issues with regards to getting permission for the signs. It is just the normal planning issues that take a long time. We had a meeting in September with regards to the application and we only got the decision through this month.

“There have been a few other hiccups so our opening is going to be happening until March or April.

“We are now doing all the decorations, lights and painting. It is still like a building site but it is very good so far.”

The cinema chairs have been ripped out of both auditoriums which have now become one large room catering for the nightclub upstairs and the buffet downstairs seating around 350 people.

The cinema was opened in 1935 as The Ritz, on the site of St George’s Hall.

It was subdivided in late 1970s before closing in 1999 when Cineworld opened in 2000.

The once great opera building was then left to the elements – and the pigeons.

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