THE Arc Cinema has been chosen as the operator of the eight-screen complex being built on Forge Island.
The appointment was described as a significant milestone in the town centre masterplan and construction should start in the autumn.
Arc, which has six sites across the UK and Ireland and two currently being built, signed a long-term lease with regen firm Muse Developments for the Rotherham project.
Brian Gilligan, director at Melcorpo, which runs Arc, said: “We were delighted to be selected by Rotherham Council and Muse to bring one of our state-of-the-art cinemas to the Forge Island site.
“We would like to express our grateful thanks to them for their support in helping make this possible.
“The large, high-specification, eight-screen cinema has been specially designed to ensure we become a leisure hub, enabling us to provide a focal point for the people of Rotherham.
“Our customers love the fact that we offer a luxurious VIP experience, but we only charge standard cinema prices, and we think that unique combination is perfectly suited to Rotherham.
“Everyone is really looking forward to treats like cinema and restaurant trips again so we’re particularly excited to have the opportunity to be part of this good news story for the Rotherham community at this time.”
Muse development director Dan Needham said the deal was a ringing endorsement of the innovative plans.
He added: “Working collaboratively with the council and partners, we’re working hard to develop a game-changing scheme that will bring a real vibrancy not seen before, that will drive inward investment and growth to the local economy, while providing opportunities and prosperity at a time that it’s needed most.
“Forge Island represents what can be achieved when the best of the public and private sector come together with the same vision, drive and goal in mind.”
Along with the cinema, the Forge Island plans include a hotel, food and drink outlets, car park and new bridge link to Corporation Street.
Cllr Denise Lelliott, RMBC cabinet member for jobs and the local economy said: “This is a significant milestone in Rotherham’s development which we are excited to announce.
“We can’t wait to see a brand new, state of the art, eight-screen cinema on Forge Island, bringing blockbuster movies back to the town centre for the first time in over 30 years.
“The Arc Cinema will be an asset to Rotherham and I’m really pleased the operator has selected the town as one if its locations to continue its rollout of cinemas.
“Our development also presents an exciting opportunity for restaurants, bars and cafes looking to be part of what will be one of the most attractive town centre leisure destinations in the region.”