With hope fading fast for the Futurist, Scarborough could possibly be left with just a handful of cinema screens if the curtain falls on the theatre for the final time.
The town would be left with just three cinema screens spread across two independent venues, if Scarborough Council pull the plug on the Foreshore Road theatre, which also serves as the towns primary cinema.
This is in spite of the fact a major local developer is still waiting for the authority to push through its plans to develop a huge six screen multiplex in the heart of the town.
When they were unveiled seven years ago, North Street Development’s plans to build the state-of-the art leisure facility were warmly received by a public desperate to see a modern cinema finally arrive in Scarborough.
The cinema would be sited in North Street Car Park, adjacent to the Opera House Casino.
However, the plans have lay dormant for over a year now, no further along since the developers were forced to renew the planning permission last May due to slow moving pace of the development.
The council have agreed to develop the plans, but the developer is still waiting for it to confirm when the next step will commence.
But with the Futurist looking increasingly doomed, it could mean film fans will still be forced to continue making expensive and long journeys to Hull, York or even Middlesbrough to see the latest blockbuster.
“Since consent was given in 2008 North Street Development have been waiting for Scarborough Council to agree to develop the existing car park site,” said Nikolas Shaw from the company, which is also behind the Opera House Casino.
“Scarborough Council have now agreed to develop the site and have informed North Street Development that procedure is in motion, and we are now waiting for Scarborough Council to confirm to us when the tender process will be.”
The Scarborough News contacted Scarborough Council for an update from its side over the plans, but as of going to print, they have yet to reply.
We also contacted several national cinema chains, to see if they had any plans to develop a cinema in Scarborough, but they also all failed to respond.
However, if the Futurist did close, it would leave cinema goers in the town with limited options while the North Street saga continues.
Currently, the only options that would be available in the town are the two screens at the Hollywood Plaza, in North Marine Road, and one digital screen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
Comparatively, similar sized towns such as Harrogate have multi-screen cinemas, owned by national chains.
Tony Viney, from Open Air Theatre organisers Sant’Angelo Resources, says that his company are looking into ‘pop-up’ drive-thru cinemas in the Scarborough area, although these would only be temporary.
However, in terms of a permanent solution, with the project seemingly in an enforced state of limbo, North Street Development is now planning to hold a meeting this October to see what measures the firm can take to move the application on.
And Mr Shaw added: “North Street Development has waited a long time since the inception of the development back in 2006, and are keen to see this development materialise”.
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