Cinema screens return to medieval town of Rye

Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption The site of the former library and adult education centre in Lion Street, Rye, was saved from becoming new houses by local campaigners

A cinema has returned to the medieval town of Rye, in East Sussex, after a break of nearly 40 years.

Kino Rye has been built on the site of the former library and adult education centre at the top of Lion Street.

The historical site had been earmarked for housing, but after local opposition it was bought by a community group who pledged hundreds of thousands of pounds to ensure part of the building was saved from the bulldozers.

Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption The venue was two years in the planning with the project costing an estimated £1.5m

It boasts a two-screen cinema, a cafe-bar, function rooms and is run by Kino Digital.

Mike Eve, chairman of Fletcher Centre Properties, who were behind the construction of the £1.5m venue, said the building had been "an absolute total shambles".

"It hadn't been maintained, there was ivy all over the walls, everything was full of asbestos.

"It was just a wreck, but a beautiful, hugely strong, building that had been here since 1850. Now it's just mind-blowing."

Image copyright Kino Digital
Image caption The project involved a complete renovation of the Victorian building

Bernard Laurent, chairman of Kino Digital, added: "I personally have an enormous pleasure stepping on stones which I know have been there for centuries.

"And when at the same time you give people the most modern, the most efficient state-of-the-art technology, I think the pleasure is doubled."

The venue will be open every day and the latest technology will also allow live streaming of events from the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Royal Opera House.

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