Iveagh Movie Studios in Banbridge has been sold to IMC Cinema Group and is set for a £2.5m refurbishment, including an increase in the number of screens.
Work on the new IMC Banbridge cinema will begin in the coming months and the upgrade plans are to include a new state of the art shop, installation of state of the art Dolby sound technology and bigger screens
IMC Cinemas took control of the Iveagh Movie Studios on Friday 12th February.
An IMC Cinema spokesperson said: “The new shop area will offer patrons easier access to purchase tickets aswell as confectionary goods.
“IMC Banbridge will offer patrons four screens, including 3Dscreens, digital projection, luxury stadium seating, and a VIP screen to make for the ultimate cinema experience.
“IMC Banbridge also offers gift vouchers, corporate tickets, aswell as running special offers such as Student Tuesdays, Meal Deal Wednesdays and Online Thursdays for cinema goers throughout the week.
“IMC Banbridge plan to offer live opera from the MET using the latest satellitetechnology, as well as the latest blockbusters.”
A price has not been confirmed but the Banbridge cinema was put up for sale in 2013 with an asking price of £1.5million.
The purchase of the Banbridge cinema is the third addition to the IMC Cinema group recently following the acquisition of IMC Enniskillen and IMC Omagh.
Doubts had been hanging over the long-term future of the Iveagh after Omniplex were granted planning permission in 2014 for an eight-screen cinema at The Outlet.
The Leader revealed last week that a number of stores had been relocated at The Outlet in preparation for work to begin on the proposed major leisure development, including the Omniplex cinema.
Longtime manager of the Iveagh Giles Conlon has chosen to leave his position after the transfer of ownership.
On social media he said: “It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I have chosen to opt out of the transfer of Iveagh Movie Studios to IMC Cinema Group for many reasons.
“I have been Centre Manager since six months before it opened on March 26th 2004 until today February 11th 2016 - almost 12 years!
“I have had the pleasure of operating the business on behalf of the owner Mr. Dominic Quinn whom I have endless respect for.
“I have worked with the greatest bunch of staff particularly my assistant managers Mark Lavery and Tracy Bann, and other staff who have been with me from day one: Melanie Jordan, Margaret McArdle, Ryan McGrath, Jonny Byrne.
“There are too many staff to name individually, I’ll miss you all. Good luck to those carrying on with the new company.
“Long live the Iveagh!”