COLCHESTER’S new boutique cinema could open in September, bosses say.

Work to create the Curzon, in Queen Street, began last week after months of delays caused by essential checks and repairs to the dilapidated building, Roman House.

Now the London-based firm has confirmed the cinema will have three screens and will seat more than 300 people in total.

There will also be one Curzon-run roof-top bar as well as a separate bar on the ground floor.

Two separate, but currently unnamed, restaurants are also planned alongside the cinema, in the same building.

Spokesman Rob Kenny said work to create the cinema would begin as soon as a fit-out of the building is completed by the new owners. Once that is finished, in-house Curzon work will take about four months to complete.

Mr Kenny said: “We have been finalising the plans in the lead up to Christmas and we’re very excited about it.

“The owners are carrying out the work they feel is needed inside and we will have an accurate timescale of how long that will take.

“Once we do, our work usually takes about four months to complete. At the moment we would say early autumn.”

Mr Kenny also praised Colchester Council for making the company’s first move to east of England smooth, adding: “I’ve worked with a lot of councils and I can say easily Colchester is the best I’ve worked with.

"They helped find a suitable location when we first looked at coming and they’ve been very helpful since we selected the building.”

The project is the first in a line of schemes aimed at regenerating the east of Colchester’s town centre.

Last year the Gazette revealed £30million plans to demolish the former Keddies store, beside Curzon, to make way for an 87-bed hotel alongside seven large restaurants and bars.

It is hoped the scheme could be completed next year.

Colchester regeneration boss, Tim Young (Lab) said: “There is every reason to be confident 2017 will be a really good year for this part of town.”