Boutique cinema chain Curzon Cinemas will almost double the number of its screens in the capital, from 12 to 20, as part of a £6 million expansion plan and design makeover.
The main investment is in a new £3 million cinema on Buckingham Gate in Victoria with five intimate screens, each seating between around 25 and 75 people.
The cinema will have only 200 seats in all. Afroditi Krassa, who designed the interiors of Japanese restaurant chain Itsu, has conceived the Victoria site, set to open in May.
The Renoir in Bloomsbury will also switch from two large screens to six smaller ones in a £2.5 million revamp, masterminded by Takero Shimazaki, designer of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant.
Curzon, which is known for screening art-house and foreign language films but does show some blockbusters, has recruited a third designer to give a facelift to the Curzon Soho’s bar and foyer. Chief executive Philip Knatchbull said the move to smaller screens would make it a more “quality” experience.
He has got financial backing from investment group Viltree, based in the British Virgin Islands, which last year took a major stake in Curzon World, the company behind the chain, but said he was not considering a stock market float.
Curzon World, with its own film distribution and production business, also plans to expand its cinemas outside the M25.