FILM-DEPRIVED residents will enjoy a “high-quality cinema experience” when the Guildhall in Abingdon is revamped.

That’s the pledge of town councillor Dennis Garrett, who is adamant no corners will be cut on a projection unit and retractable cinema seating in the new building.

The head of the guildhall committee added: “We will get a proper full-size cinema screen with high-class projection, which will be able to show general release films.

“If you take The Revenant, it’s the sort of thing that three months after release we could show.

“People will be able to come and see performances of the Royal Opera, which has live screenings that could be shown in the cinema. It will be a high-quality cinema experience.”

The committee has published a five-year plan for the £2.1m renovation, with Abingdon Town Council taking out a £1m loan.

Mr Garrett said: “That’s the cost of redoing it for what we want to create – to revamp it and make it more modern.

“Nothing has been spent on it for the past 30 years.”

Ticket prices for films and concerts are estimated at £8.

Plans for the building in Abbey Close include a glass-fronted cafe bar and wi-fi throughout the building.

Mr Garrett added: “The cafe bar will be a high-class place for people of all age groups to meet.

“People stopped using the building because the facilities weren’t as good – it was all beginning to look a bit drab. We want to get functions like wedding receptions back by making it more attractive. It needs to be a social and leisure hub.”

Drayton resident Brian Eastoe, 82, questioned the need for a cafe, saying there were already more than enough in the town centre.

He added: “I wish them well but I can’t help thinking there has been a total lack of imagination here.”

The town council, which has owned the Guildhall since 2011, unveiled £3.5m plans for a cinema and arts centre in 2013. That fell through last year despite a bidding war between four top cinema chains.

Councillors will discuss the Guildhall renovations at a meeting on Monday. They hope to put the scheme out to tender in the summer. If planning permission is granted, the revamp could be completed by May 2017.