Arbroath could have a fully-functioning cinema within a matter of weeks if all goes to plan down at the beachfront.
Businessman Andrew Henderson, proprietor of Chalmers Nightclub on Queens Drive, has applied to Angus Council’s licensing board for a variation of his licence to allow under 18s and for an extended late licence.
According to Mr Henderson this would give him the tools to turn the former Waterfront club into a versatile leisure space. He explained: “It goes to the licensing board on Thursday and we need to get an under-18s licence and we’re asking for a 3 a.m. licence because Dundee has it.
“To make all the sums work we need the nightclub to trade later. Under the restricted hours it just can’t trade enough.
“When we took the place over we designed it to do exactly this, we wanted to be a multi-purpose space for all the family.”
Much of the work has already been completed, modelled on the MacRobert building in Stirling and the Hippodrome in Bo’ness, with Dolby 7.1 surround sound installed, seating for 100 people and a 6.5 metre by 3.5 metre screen playing High Definition quality footage.
The cinema would get new films around four or five weeks after their initial release in the mainstream cinemas, and there are plans to try out a number of combinations of viewings, including Saturday morning children’s matinees, weekend evening shows and even midweek specialist screenings.
Mr Henderson is also developing a restaurant with a sea view to the rear of Chalmers which will cost in the region of £100,000, with £250,000 already being spent on the development of the cinema and other facilities.
Staffing levels are also expected to increase as a result.
Mr Henderson added: “This as I see it is a tourist area, this should help fill the caravans because there will be things to do here on a rainy day.
“Hoping that local people will embrace it and the film enthusiasts in the town will make it successful. We need the trust of the licensing board to get the support of the people and the police need to come on board and sort out any undesirables.”