27th Feb, 2021

Lights, camera action! Open air cinema plan for Abbey Stadium

IT could be blockbuster time at the Abbey Stadium after plans to bring an open air cinema to its car park won approval.

The scheme would see an outside company supply, install and operate an outdoor covered stage with LED video wall backdrop, stage lighting and sound equipment.

And this could be used not only as a cinema, but also to hold outdoor theatre events as well as exercise and training classes for gym members of the Abbey.

The proposals were discussed at a shareholders committee meeting of Rubicon Leisure, the borough council’s ‘arms length’ leisure operator.

In drive-in cinema mode it is estimated the car park could hold 50 vehicles, or 36 cars with 30 people outside and be configured as seating/standing only with an audience of up to 100 people.

A report to committee says fitness classes could be provided and organised by Rubicon staff while the cinema, comedy, live performances. would be provided by an external company.

Food and drinks would be delivered to vehicles/people to meet social distancing guidelines and there would be portable toilets on site.

Councillor Bill Hartnett (Lab, Church Hill) said: “This is a really exciting initiative and I’m pleased it’s coming to Redditch – let’s hope the people of the town support it too.”

Committee chair Coun David Thain (Con, West) added: “This will be very popular and it shows this council and Rubicon using their initiative and I support it.”

Initial proposals would see three cinema screenings, starting this month and extending into October.

Cinemagoers would be supplied with headphones so they could hear the dialogue.

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