Farnham’s new REEL Cinema has already claimed its place as the top performing site across the REEL empire after a blockbuster opening weekend.
Several screenings sold out in the days following last Friday’s public opening, with the most popular films being Migration, Argylle and Wonka.
And according to REEL, the cinema sold half again as many weekend tickets as any other of REEL’s 15 other sites nationwide.
It also seriously underestimated how popular white wine was going to be with Farnham customers!
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, was on hand to cut the ribbon – or film reel – alongside the mayor of Farnham, deputy mayor of Waverley, REEL’s founder KC Suri and his son, and present-day REEL director, Sunil.
The MP for South West Surrey also spoke to cinema staff – many of whom have been recruited from the nearby University for the Creative Arts.
Also present at the ribbon cutting event was the mayor of Farnham, Alan Earwaker, and deputy mayor of Waverley, John Ward, as well as Farnham town crier Michael Stephens who heralded the cinema’s opening with typical gusto.
He boomed: “1985 was a great year. It was the year of The Breakfast Club, it was the year of The Goonies, it was the year that Marty McFly showed us the hoverboard. Unfortunately it was the year Farnham lost its silver screen. Thirty-nine years later we celebrate that cinema is back, Back from the Future!”
Mr Hunt added his own congratulations that one of the hottest topics in Farnham for decades was finally being put to rest.
He said: “The thorniest issue in Farnham for years has been the Gostrey and East Street development. But now it is nearly complete it is clear it is going to be fabulous.”
The cinema’s “super comfortable seats” are worth the ticket price alone, added the Chancellor.
Two days earlier, the great and good of Farnham packed into the gleaming new cinema for a Champagne reception and the first full-length film screenings.
One screening, of George Clooney-directed The Boys in the Boat, began with a live Q&A with one of the stars of the film, Joel Phillimore.
Afterwards, the foyer buzzed with excitement at the return of the silver screen to Farnham after 39 long years away.
The cinema has received glowing reviews online too since opening – albeit with a few grumbles over the lack of nearby parking, with Brightwells Yard’s multi-storey yet to open to the public.