A NEWLY 'revitalised' information centre has opened at the start of a year of exciting plans for a popular theatre and cinema.

The Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Trish Jamieson, was on hand to cut the ribbon on the Information Centre on the High Street, which displays photographs of the area, Dorset-themed souvenirs and gifts, and leaflets for a host of attractions.

The Regent Centre took over the running of the neighbouring Information Centre from Christchurch Council in December 2013.

Felicity Porter, the new manager of the Regent Centre, said the updates to the information centre, which also offers a range of services including coach bookings and ticket sales for local events, are about investing in the future of the venue.

She said: "We are an art deco, independent cinema, which in this day and age is amazing. We are now one of the last art deco cinemas in Dorset, built in 1931, with exception to the Tivoli in Wimborne, after the ABC just closed in Bournemouth.

"We have no intention of going anywhere.The general plan is to keep on growing. It's still about programming things that people want and to keep our older audience happy, while encouraging in the next generation.

"An example is that we are doing film nights with Jimmy's Iced Coffee, which we had a few of last year, and so we are continuing to do that starting with Wayne's World on February 1."

Felicity said that they have a young team at the Regent Centre and the Information Centre, which she hopes will help to get rid of the negative stigma of the town only being targeted at older people.

She is also proud of the fact that the Regent Centre has two types of traffic, with people coming in to enjoy hot drinks and snacks during the day, as well as ticket-holders coming in to enjoy a show or movie screenings.

"We have got a state of the art projector and the surround sound is as good as can be.

"We had around 8,200 people who came to see The Lady in the Van at the Regent Centre and 6,000 people came to see Bridget Jones' Baby, which we had running for fourth months because it was so popular."

Felicity said that there are over 40,000 residents in Christchurch but the centre had over 100,000 visitors through the door last year, proving that the venue's appeal is far reaching beyond the town.

Cllr Trish Jamieson, mayor of Christchurch, said: "It's great to see that the Information Centre has been upgraded and modernised. The number of volunteers is incredible, which I believe is around 200 people, plus the staff. It wonderful to see that it has been revitalised."

Tickets cost £5 per person for the screening of Wayne's World on February 1 at 8pm.

For more information on the Regent Centre and Christchurch Information Centre call 01202 499199.