WAREHAM'S historic Rex Cinema has reopened to a full house following a £70,000 refurbishment.

Rex Cinema president Edward Fox attended the special gala night, which featured a programme of silent movies accompanied by pianist Michael Brent.

The Day of the Jackal star was joined by Purbeck Film Charitable Trust president Lady Cotton, and Viridor Credits boss John Lockwood.

David Evans, Rex Cinema chairman, said: "The refurbishment is aimed at improving the comfort of movie goers whilst keeping the special historic character of the Rex which is so loved by our patrons."

The latest works included re-upholstering the seats, fitting new carpets, a new floor rake to improve the view of the screen, new roof insulation, improved heating, full redecoration and state of the art LED lighting.

Mr Lockwood said: "I am very pleased that Viridor Credits had been able to approve a number of donations to the Rex Cinema project from the Landfill Communities Fund over the last 10 years.

"A total of £220,000 has been awarded to enable the building to be acquired, improve the sound and screen and this latest project, to update the auditorium."

Other contributors to the project included The Rex Players, Wareham Lions, Wareham 41 Club, Rotary Wareham, Furzebrook Village Hall, Stoborough WI and Purbeck District Council.

Many individuals and volunteers also contributed their time and funding, said a cinema spokesman.

The cinema, the oldest in Dorset, is owned and run by the Purbeck Film Charitable Trust, a not for profit charity who also run the annual Purbeck Film Festival. It operates seven evenings a week with matinees in school holidays and screens the latest releases as well as classic films.