GALLERY: Red carpet night with James Bond theme as Hippodrome reopens after �1.29m transformation

IT will be a red carpet night with a James Bond theme when pub operator JD Wetherspoon opens the doors of The Hippodrome in March next Tuesday.

The company has spent �1.29 million transforming and restoring the former cinema and bingo hall and 50 jobs have been created.

The pub will be managed by Heidi Bridges, previously of The Lattice House in King’s Lynn. She said: “I am looking forward to welcoming customers into the pub and am confident that it will be a good addition to March’s social scene.”

The 25-year-old who has worked for the company for six years added: “I am really proud that I have been given the job at this amazing new pub.”

Site manager Mark Thompson whose ideas have completely transformed the building while incorporating its varied history will be at the opening to chat to customers. It was Mr Thompson who found the original cinematic posters from the 1960s and 70s and suggested using them as part of the decor.

First opened in 1929, the 900-seat cinema was built at a cost of �20,000 for March Amusements. The initials ‘MA’ can be seen at the top of the facade on Dartford Road.

After a change of ownership in the 1960s, the hippodrome became a bingo hall although in recent years films were re-introduced. It was bought by fish and chip shop owners, the Petrou brothers, but closed its doors in 2009.

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The new pub will specialise in real ales, serving a wide range of beers, including those from local and regional brewers. Opening times will be from 8am until 1am on Friday and Saturday. Food will be served throughout the day until 10pm.

Children, accompanied by an adult, will be welcome in the pub until 9pm throughout the week, with last orders for food at 8pm. As a condition on the licence, both the adult and child must order a meal.

The new-look outlet features one bar, as well as a beer garden to the side of the premises where smoking will be permitted.

Many of the original features in the building have been restored and retained, including the ceiling and lighting, as well as reclaimed windows at the front of the premises.

Photos and information boards relating to the history and characters of the area are also displayed in the pub,