ACCRINGTON'S cinema is set to re-open less than a month after its closure.
And in a surprise move, it will be run directly by Globe Enterprises, the company in which Hyndburn Council has a one-third share.
The Premiere Cinema, part of the Viaduct leisure complex, could be open as early as next Friday to show the new Disney blockbuster Finding Nemo and the smash-hit Calendar Girls.
Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "This is wonderful and amazing news. It is very important to get the cinema up and running again as quickly as possible. Things were looking gloomy, but Globe Enterprises must be congratulated on its initiative. I am sure the people of Hyndburn will be as delighted as I am.''
Nigel Rix, director of Globe Enterprises, said it had created a new firm, Premiere Cinemas Ltd, on Wednesday. He added: "This is fantastic news for cinema-goers in Hynd-burn. Since the cinema shut, our main focus has been to get it open again as soon as possible, so we are delighted."
The re-opening became possible after the liquidation meeting of the previous operators, London-based GSX, when Globe was awarded full control and ownership of the four-screen cinema and its contents. Although it has no experience of running a cinema, it has brought in experienced staff, including several of the former employees.
The arrangement may only be temporary, as Globe is currently in talks with four cinema operators, some of which are in business across the UK. Globe has assessed some of the previous problems at the cinema and has pledged to improve sound quality by bringing in a Dolby Digital system and to take a hands-on approach to management. It sees the adjoining Super-bowl as a benchmark and wants to see the same quality throughout the £3.5m complex.
Globe, whose other partners are businessman Stuart Nevison and Barnfield Construction, has stressed that no public money was used in the development, which was only made possible through private funding.
A Globe spokesman said: "Criticism we have received for allegedly not vetting the tenant, and over our handling of the whole matter, is totally unwarranted."