Life returned to the cinema in Hastings yesterday as film reels started turning for the first time in nine months.
An afternoon screening of Madagascar 3 marked a new era for the former Reading Cinema, which closed amid a flurry of publicity on January 29.
Manager Matt Bell said most of the films now showing were largely aimed at children, but there were plans to reach a wider audience with 3D and digital movies in the coming weeks.
"For the next [fortnight] we are focusing on providing entertainment for schoolchildren of all ages at an affordable price, as well as [some] movies that appeal to the more mature population," he said.
"The film reels we have dictate what we can play, but once we get some new equipment in here there will be a lot more options.
"We plan to make two of the auditoriums digital in the next couple of months."
More substantial changes to the 1933 State Theatre building will take place in two stages during a refurbishment scheduled for February, including a name change from Cinema Hastings to Focal Point Cinema.
"The biggest transformation is probably the seating. There are currently 700 seats and by the end of stage two we hope to have that down to 440. The seats will be bigger, there will be more space and the major change will be auditorium-style seating.
"We will also upgrade the image quality and downstairs in the foyer there will be a fully licensed cafe."
The cinema will employ up to 12 staff and run 85 movie sessions per week, with a cross-section of mainstream, arthouse and international titles.
Mr Bell said feedback had been positive so far. "Everyone I have spoken to seems excited, when you mention it you can see their eyes light up."