An historic town centre cinema could reopen to customers next year after a major refurbishment, says a town councillor.

On Tuesday, October 17, several Devizes town councillors were given a tour of The Palace Cinema in the Market Place, which has been closed during a three-year renovation.

After the tour, Cllr Judy Rose revealed that owners Picturedrome Cinemas are aiming to reopen the much-loved venue by the end of 2024, if the ongoing works are completed to schedule.

Cllr Rose told this paper she was impressed by the progress of the comprehensive refurbishment.

She said: “A lot of progress has been made, they’ve opened up the floor, brought in new seats, and are gradually restoring all the mouldings.

“It’s an enormous task but it is going to look incredible, it was really interesting to look around because it’s a beautiful building.

“They’re restoring it to the way it used to be with a few modern touches so it will be quite something.”

Swindon Advertiser: Inside The Palace CinemaInside The Palace Cinema (Image: Cllr Judy Rose)As well as improvements to seating and the retention and restoration of the historic building’s original features, there are also plans to increase catering provision.

Live performances should also be on offer once the cinema reopens, with plans for the large stage area to double as both a cinema screen and a stage for theatrical productions.

The owners are also adding two boxes for private groups to hire during screenings and live performances.

They told councillors that they are largely using local firms to carry out the renovations.

The latest insight into the progress of the refurbishment comes a month after residents visited the cinema at an open day for the first time since 2021.

Cllr Rose emphasised the importance of the cinema, which has stood in the town centre for over a century, as a “cultural centre” for the area.

Swindon Advertiser: Town councillors and project manager Spencer ClarkTown councillors and project manager Spencer Clark (Image: Cllr Judy Rose)She added: “It will be a huge asset for those in Devizes but will also draw people in from other areas and be a big venue and that is much to the benefit of Devizes.

“The Palace is a terrific centre for the town, and will be a place for people to go.

“But it’s also something that people recognise as a cultural centre and they like the idea of having a place to watch films and live performances.”

While locals are eagerly awaiting the cinema’s reopening, Cllr Rose urged them to be patient.

“We just have to hope they’ll manage to reopen by the end of 2024, but it’s definitely going ahead”, she said.