The digital cinema revolution in the past 10 years has brought a huge change to the cinema exhibition industry. The industry is no longer controlled by the big 3. This is healthy for the industry. Many private companies and families are now investing in cinemas in local communities.


Bill Chew Architect Ltd has been involved in cinema design since the early 1990’s with Odeon Cinemas Ltd being their first client. Since then the practice has worked with other clients in the UK and abroad. During this period the practice has designed boutique cinemas, multiplexes, screening rooms and healthcare cinemas. For the past 15 years BCA Ltd have worked with a private family in the Midlands and completed 4 boutique cinemas for them in Belper, Melton Mowbray, Stockport and Wilmslow.  Other cinema work with this Client is in the pipeline.

In addition to cinemas the practice has designed screening rooms and healthcare cinemas for Hanover Housing for their Extra Care Homes Division working alongside Jackson Construction Ltd (now ISG). In the post-Covid landscape having good mental health is an important consideration. Having a cinema facility in a Care Home costs comparatively little (in overall budget terms) compared with the advantages of providing improved mental health and well being to both residents and staff alike.


Screening rooms and hotel cinemas can provide enhanced revenues for businesses. If we are working more at home then to have a leisure facility like a dedicated home cinema can become very appealing. More people aspire to having their own home cinemas where they can watch and enjoy their favourite films at their own leisure and in home comfort. Home cinemas can embrace other add-ons too such as libraries, entertainment rooms and bars.


Bill Chew has contributed many articles on cinema design and technology to technical journals such as Cinema Technology, Screen Trade Magazine, SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and others since the early 1990s.


If you like our work please contact us to see how we can assist you with your ideas and plans.

Client testimonials

"I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the cinema your company designed at Skinners Court. It has proved to be very popular with many of the residents.


Residents have explained that the whole process of going to the pictures is wonderful. Many who go, who would otherwise not be able to visit a cinema outside, but now with assistance, they can visit on a regular basis and have great pleasure from going to the 'flicks'. One resident had not been to the pictures in over 40 years but now goes virtually every week!"



Dawn D'Angelo, Estate Manager, Skinners Court, Palmers Green, London N1 4AE.




"We first used Mr Chew in conjunction with the renovation of our first cinema, The Ritz in Belper, Derbyshire in 2005/ 2006 and again with the more recent refurbishment of our second cinema, The Regal in Melton Mowbray.


Both projects were similar- the utilisation of the upper floor including the alteration of the rake to allow more legroom, installation of new screens and work in the projection box to facilitate new sight lines.


In both instances Bill's experience and professionalism proved invaluable in delivering the finished project on time and within budget. The whole team enjoyed working with him and I would have no hesitation in recommending his services to you."



Tony Mundin, Managing Director, The Regal Cinema, Melton Mowbray

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