THE fate of Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake’s entertainment chain, which wants to take over St Andrews’ A-listed New Picture House, is in the hands of Fife Council now.

T-Squared Social and New Picture House Ltd – in which both are shareholders – has asked the local authority for listed building consent to convert the 94-year-old cinema into a new “hybrid” entertainment facility. A full planning application will soon follow.

A planning statement said: “The delivery of this entertainment and hospitality attraction will enable a cinema offering to be maintained in St Andrews, while saving the current historic building.”

The New Picture House is currently an independent cinema which opened in 1930. It has a seating capacity of 700. If the plans are approved, a total of 345 seats will be kept for films.

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The theatre currently has a main screen lounge with two smaller screens. Under the new proposals, screen three would be maintained for full time cinema use and screen one used to show live sport as well as to host “enhanced movie experiences.”

The developer also wants planning permission to allow for the addition of a bar/restaurant and “interactive entertainment uses” such as sports simulators, electronic darts and table football.

“This will deliver a fit for purpose modern operation which combines cinema, dining and entertainment activities under the one roof,” it said.

The company behind the plans said this is the only way to save and preserve both the cinema and the building for the town.

The National:

“Sadly, The New Picture House will be forced to close its doors as it is currently running at under 10% occupancy and is no longer a viable stand-alone cinema operation for the owners,” a planning statement said.

“Being solely a cinema that only focuses on transactional ticket sales in times of easy and convenient access to streaming services is not working anymore. Without a serious and timely intervention, a cinema offering will be lost within St Andrews.”

If councillors give the go ahead, T-Squared Social is also planning to modernise seating, audio visual technology and heating/air conditioning in the building which “have all reached the end of their lifespan,” according to a planning statement, adding: “The investment being realised will address this and create a cinema that St Andrews can be proud of and customers enjoy.”

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If approved, the business plan is expected to change quite drastically, but the building itself will largely stay the same. According to developer, the alterations will be “minimal and sensitive to the building’s heritage designation".

They said major works will be minimised and the internal and external listed features maintained. The upper level balcony within the main auditorium will also remain largely untouched.

Fife Council will consider the application in due course. A full planning application is expected to follow shortly.