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New cinema boss lives Hollywood dream

PUBLISHED: 13:37 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:37 07 July 2010

Gary Stevens at Fakenham's Hollywood Central Cinema.

Gary Stevens at Fakenham's Hollywood Central Cinema.

He has been a fan of the movies since he was a boy and now Gary Stevens truly is living the Hollywood dream.

The 44-year-old officially took over at Fakenham's Hollywood Central Cinema at the weekend after buying the business from Trevor Wicks who continues to own the other Hollywood Cinemas in the chain.

He has been a fan of the movies since he was a boy and now Gary Stevens truly is living the Hollywood dream.

The 44-year-old officially took over at Fakenham's Hollywood Central Cinema at the weekend after buying the business from Trevor Wicks who continues to own the other Hollywood Cinemas in the chain.

Mr Stevens, who has spent more than 30 years working for the film industry, was delighted to now be in charge of his very own cinema.

“Independent cinemas can really help people to feel like their cinema is part of their community, and I am looking forward to making sure this cinema is a success for many years to come,” said Mr Stevens whose most recent role was in operations management for Merlin Cinemas in Devon and Cornwall.

He has a number of new ideas he plans to put in place at the cinema. By Friday there will be a computerised box office system, and he intends to change the signage inside the venue to give it a more 1930s feel.

Mr Stevens also wants the cinema to show the work of local filmmakers and to host private screenings for film societies and other groups. In the long term he would also like to open a café bar at the cinema.

The Hollywood Central Cinema in Fakenham was built in 1855 as the Corn Hall and the building also served as a magistrates' court and a library. It was converted into a 700 seat cinema in 1930 and was renamed as the Central Cinema seven years later.

After closing in 1976 it became a bingo club until the 1990s and after lying empty and unused for a couple of years it was re opened in July 2000 as the Hollywood Cinema.

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