BURNLEY’S Reel Cinema is to get a £2million complete refurbishment because of the huge number of film fans going there.

All nine screens will be gutted and refitted with new seats and carpets while an upgraded foyer will see the food and drink concessions revamped with a new licensed bar.

The full scope of the project was revealed yesterday by chain owner, Kailash Chander ‘KC’ Suri, when he was unveiled as the man behind a new £6.5million cinema to be built in Blackburn town centre.

He said with customer numbers now exceeding 350,000 a year at the Burnley venue, the time was right for major improvements.

The news of the the investment, which will create new jobs, was welcomed by Burnley Council leader Cllr Mark Townsend as ‘absolutely brilliant’.

Cllr Gordon Birtwistle, his Liberal Democrat opposition counterpart, said: “This is great news for an absolutely top-notch entertainment venue.”

Reel took over the Manchester Road cinema from the Apollo chain in 2012 and Mr Suri said since then it has proved ‘really successful’.

Work has already started on building a neighbouring restaurant and ‘drive-thru’ earmarked for fast-food chain Burger King, which was given planning permission last year.

Yesterday Mr Suri, whose business empire includes 15 cinemas nationwide with more under development, disclosed this was just part of ambitious plans for the town’s only cinema.

He said: “Since we took over from Apollo in 2012, Burnley has proved really successful.

“We are getting more than 350,000 visits from film fans a year.

“I decided it was time to upgrade the whole cinema to go with the new restaurant development which is earmarked for Burger King, subject to the final contract details.

“We are talking new everything, new seats, new carpets, new decoration, a totally new foyer, new food and drinks concessions and kiosks.

“There will be a new licensed bar which it has never had before as well as better car parking and landscaping.

“We are talking about a total refit over the summer with only the shell of the building unaffected.

“Our loyal customers in Burnley deserve this.

“The whole scheme will cost in excess of £2million and should create another five jobs on top of the 25 at the cinema itself and 20 to 25 full and part-time post as the new fast food restaurant.

“Preparatory work has already started and we will be doing all nine screens in three phases to keep the cinema operating.

“The sound and film projection system are already state of the art but we could bring in laser projection at a future date.

“I see the Burnley and Blackburn cinemas as complementary and providing extra filmgoers to both venues.”

Cllr Townsend said: “This is absolutely brilliant news for the borough and for film fans.

“I am glad to see this major national firm investing in the town’s future and leisure economy.”

Cllr Birtwistle said: “I am not surprised at this investment.

“It's a very popular cinema and is a first rate, hi-tech digital operation.

“I am delighted.”

Mr Suri expects the Blackburn cinema to attract between 200,000 and 250,000 customer a year.

Burger King has not traded in Burnley town centre since its last shop, in St James Street, was taken over by the Skipton Building Society in the 1990s.

Site managers intend to reorganise parking spots so that more disabled spaces will be closer to the cinema’s entrance.

Mr Suri's plans for Blackburn multi-cultural cinema n 11