Tiger Woods, Justin Timberlake unveil first images for St Andrews cinema development

American superstars Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake have given the St Andrews community a first look at revised plans for the New Picture House Cinema after a community backlash

CGI videos, images and a brand new website have revealed what St Andrews‘ beloved New Picture House Cinema could look like if plans from American A-listers Timberlake and Woods are approved. They propose keeping the cinema, increasing the number of screens and preserving the exterior of the listed building.

Last October, Nexus Luxury Collection, in which Woods and Timberlake are shareholders, announced plans to launch their second T-Squared Social venture in the university town – they already operate in New York – turning the 94-year-old New Picture House into a premium sports and entertainment facility.

The community response saw more than 12,300 signatures added to an online petition objecting to the transformation. Now, New Picture House and T- Squared Social have jointly revealed new video, images and a website to give the community the opportunity to view the “new, enhanced proposals”.

How the interior of the development could look like at St Andrews' historic picture house (Pic: Submitted)

A statement from T-Squared Social stated: “In response to community feedback, two out of three screens, including the main auditorium, are to be retained as part of T-Squared Social’s proposals for the cinema, which will maintain the same New Picture House name.”

According to the revised proposals, Cinema 3 will be “maintained in its present form” with improvements made to the seating and technology to “improve the viewing experience”.

Seating in Cinema 2 will be replaced with comfortable seat groupings, allowing people to socialise, with an area for electronic darts. The main cinema one will retain its large screen, and still show films, but as a multi-functional space it will include a range of sports simulators including golf, rugby, lacrosse and football. Developers say the seating here will be “entirely flexible”. It will be a “multi-functional” space, but when a movie is shown, the lights will be dimmed and other activities will be paused to allow viewers to watch a movie quietly as they are accustomed to.

The revised proposals have also promised to protect the character of the auditorium – the existing ceiling, walls and stage features would be retained

A new look is proposed for the historic cinema in St Andrews as part of a major development (Pic: Submitted)

Responding to the public the much-loved upper level of the cinema will be staying as it is today, with over 300 seats retained in the venue for cinema goers,” the statement said.

Developers also said “much of the New Picture House” will remain the same, adding: “Any renovations and enhancements will be made to the interior, not the exterior, preserving and celebrating the building, including the name above the door.”

Christopher Anand, managing partner for T-Squared Social said: “We have listened to the residents of St. Andrews and are delighted to be announcing our intention to increase the number of screens, including retaining the main auditorium. With our new entertainment concept, sitting alongside the cinema, this will ensure that a cinema offering can remain in the town for this and for generations to come.

He continued: “In addition, the development will deliver a significant economic investment in the town, with 40-50 staff employed, an increase on the current ten, who will also be given the opportunity to stay with the new venture.”

David Morris, the managing director for New Picture House, will stay and manage the transition to the new venture.

He said: “This intervention by T-Squared not only allows a cinema offering to be retained for the town, but indeed the building itself. This was not a decision we took lightly, and we felt that this was the right company to preserve what we have built up over almost 100 years.”

Mr Morris previously emphasised the cinema “cannot continue” as it currently stands, operating at less than 10 per cent occupancy

North East Fife’s MP Wendy Chamberlain was quoted in the T-Squared Social press release encouraging people in the community to watch the video “to find out more about what is being proposed”.

The video and website also highlight the answers to some frequently asked questions. It is available at www.tsquaredsocialsta.com.

Mr Anand said: “We urge local people to view our website, which has a video on our proposals highlighting our proposals, and to contact us should they have any questions.”

Developers say a planning application will shortly be submitted to Fife Council. If approved, T-Squared Social at New Picture House is expected to open in spring 2025.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.