A cinema boss has a noticeable spring in his step after welcoming more than 10,000 customers in just over two months.
Aurora Leisure Ltd, run by Rob Arthur, became the new leaseholder of the Scala Cinema Theatre Cafebar in Prestatyn earlier this year.
The venue opened its doors on Friday, July 2, and, in the weeks since, visitor figures have exceeded expectations.
Mr Arthur is still in the throes of re-opening parts of the business. The Courtyard Cafe is up and running and work has started on the former Saronies bar on the first floor.
Days ago, the spirits of the ex-Apollo chief were dampened when his complex in Thurso shut its doors. Mr Arthur, who took over the Scottish Highlands based cinema in 2012, had been striving to find funds to keep the business afloat.
Thurso cinema does not form part of the Aurora Group. Thurso comes under Thurso Cinema Ltd and is separate to Aurora Leisure Ltd.
Mr Arthur, who is from Bathgate and married with two children, said: “I’ve been involved in Thurso for three years so it’s sad. The staff have worked so hard. There is every likelihood that it could open again in the future, but we couldn’t commit any longer.”
“Thurso’s closure doesn’t impact on Prestatyn. It would have had a negative impact on Prestatyn if it had belonged to Aurora. Aurora Leisure Ltd is absolutely on and it is working. Since the Scala opened, we’ve had 10,000 customers through the door. The number has exceeded our initial expectations. We haven’t made a big noise, we opened quietly and customers have become familiar with the building once more.”
Aurora Leisure took on the Scala after members of the former trust agreed to hand back their keys and lease to the council in January after efforts to save the venue failed.
A Denbighshire County Council spokesperson added: “We are happy with how well the Scala has done in its first weeks of operating and the response from the public has been extremely positive. Rob has advised us that there is no impact on the cinema from the closure of the Thurso and we will be meeting with him this week to discuss this.”
Source: Rhyl Journal news article 16.09.15 by Suzanne Jordan