A YORK cinema will re-open next Saturday  after a £3 million refurbishment, with the owners claiming it will offer a brand new night out experience for the city.

The Everyman,  created in the former Reel and Odeon cinema in Blossom Street, will feature comfy sofas with tables attached, instead of traditional seats, and food and drink will be served to customers.

The firm's revamp of the 80-year-old Grade II listed art deco building has also taken it down from five to four screens, and cut each screen's seating capacity.

The huge auditorium of Screen One will have sofa seating for just 144 when there used to be several hundred seats. Screen Four will a capacity of only 20.

The old Screen 5 to the right of the entrance doors is becoming a Spielburger restaurant, and there will be new bars on the ground and first floor.

Everyman CEO Crispin Lilly said: "Considerable previous experience in this sort of renovation project puts us in a strong position to deliver something exceptional in York."

He said customers could expect to see a broad range of quality films, from ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, ‘Darkest Hour’ & ‘The Shape of Water’ to British Independent Film Award winners like ‘Gods Own Country’, and ‘The Death of Stalin.'

He said: "York will also play host to regular features like The Everyman Collection (a chance to see something you might have missed, or less mainstream), Live broadcasts of Opera & Theatre productions and foreign language strands.

"Everyman also hopes to be able to announce details of working with Yorks’ own festival Aesthetica shortly."

He said he didn't see the Everyman as competing against other cinemas, such as City Screen, Vue and another new cinema being planned at Monks Cross as part of the community stadium project, but against other nights out in the city.

He said tickets on a Saturday night would cost £13.50. Everyman was not involved in the Meerkats Movies promotion, which offers two for one tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but it would offer two-for-one deals on Mondays for members.

The Press was given a chance earlier this week to look around the complex, where teams of contractors were busily installing sofas and new screens, including a 15 foot high screen in front of the proscenium arch in Screen One.

The cinema only survives to this day partly because of a campaign by The Press to save it, launched when Odeon announced plans to shut it down in the early 2000s.

Thirteen thousand people signed our petition but Odeon pressed ahead with closure in 2006 and the building then lay empty and boarded up for several years, amid growing fears it would be lost for ever and converted into flats. Reel then suddenly announced in 2008 that it was going to save the cinema and refurbish it.

The firm's boss said he was inspired to make the investment by the clear enthusiasm of the York public for the cinema, which had been demonstrated in its support for The Press campaign.