Published: 10:18, 31 July 2020
| Updated: 10:20, 31 July 2020
Construction of a long-awaited IMAX extension has restarted as Cineworld bosses prepare to welcome back film fans today.
But the construction team has now returned to the cinema, which is showing its first film in more than four months this afternoon.
The chain says it is implementing a range of safety measures to allow film fans to return to its venues.
Social distancing measures will be put in place across all areas, with an updated booking system that allows friends and family to sit together while ensuring a safe distance between customers from different households.
Film start and end times will also be staggered to reduce crowds in foyers and corridors, while additional cleaning will be carried out between films.
Cineworld had previously announced it planned to begin screenings from July 10, but pushed back its reopening date last month.
Movie fans will sit in high-tech motion seats which will move in synchronisation with the film, adding wind, rain, scent and other effects in line with the action on screen.
The development also includes two new restaurants either side of Pizza Hut - one in the cinema extension and another separate unit.
Ashford Borough Council approved the scheme in 2016, which also features a reworked entrance to the existing Cineworld, as well as tweaks to the car park.
Bosses initially had permission for three new screens, but lowered that to two in 2018.
They also plan to refurbish the 12 existing screens at the Ashford site, which first opened in 1999.