WORK to refurbish one of Oxford's oldest cinemas and improve sound quality has been 'too noisy' for its Jericho neighbours.

The Phoenix Picturehouse in Walton Street is halfway through its two-month closure but residents have complained of 'incredibly loud' drilling and vehicles blocking fire exits.

Cinema general manager David Williams met with the construction team last week after issues were raised but neighbours insisted nothing had changed.

Jacinta Evans, who lives near the cinema, said it was waking her four children as early as 6.45am each morning - despite management confirming work was due to begin at 7.30am.

She said: " 'We are used to a higher noise level than most living as we do in a lively mixed residential and commercial area. It is part and parcel of the attraction of Jericho - it's what makes this such a unique and vibrant part of Oxford.

"But it only works if we show some consideration for one another."

The mother-of-four said the builders were using the pavements as a 'personal car park' and blocking fire exits out of the Jericho Tavern next door.

She said: "Most of the restaurants and other businesses on Walton Street enjoy excellent relations with the local residents.

"We have not had this kind of trouble before. It is very disappointing that the Phoenix Cinema have shown such disregard for its neighbours."

The cinema first opened in 1913 as the North Oxford Kinema.

Its current closure is its first since becoming two screens in 1970.

The work is to fix ‘sound and sight line issues’ according to the cinema, which have made the showing of subtitled and quieter films ‘problematic’ in recent years.

New sound proofing and work to the existing sound systems will also take place, as well as the installation of new, larger cinema screens in both auditoriums.

No exact date has been confirmed for when it will re-open it is understood it will be some time during the first week of October.

Phoenix Picturehouse general manager David Williams said he was aware of the concerns and was working on a resolution but would not be commenting at this stage.