THE 'jewel in Penistone's crown' is all set to sparkle again from tonight.

The town's much-loved Paramount cinema will reopen this evening after months of closure due to the pandemic.

And it will return with a new look as Penistone Town Council has used the shutdown to do £100,000 worth of refurbishment inside and out.

After a short ceremony to mark the event, business will resume with a showing of the film Tenet.

Town mayor Coun Steve Webber says the revamp has been 'a Herculean' effort'. "And it has only been made possible by the patience and hard work of our staff, some of whom have been furloughed for a few months and others who have worked hard behind the scenes co-ordinating the project," he said.

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"I send my own and the Town Council's sincere thanks to them all for their professional attitude and passion to see the Paramount opening again.

"The Covid-19 crisis has been devastating in its impact on every part of our lives and in every part of the area.

“The Town Council has been forced, like many businesses, to close down for a period and to take extraordinary measures before re-opening.

"The financial implications will take years to make good. However, while not making light of the circumstances, the council has made use of the enforced shutdown to do a series of planned improvement works to the Paramount rather than affect future trading.

"In all, some £100,000 has been spent on refurbishment - including replacing old seating, fully painting the auditorium, sanding and varnishing wooden floors, laying new flooring to the Circle area and laying new carpets."

The Paramount reopens under new rules and guidance, with restricted seating due to social distancing and a restructured staffing policy.

Only pre-booked tickets are on offer at the moment although people can order snacks and drinks online when buying tickets.

The cinema is also moving to a cashless system using Paramount Gift Cards.

"We have had to move away from the use of large amounts of coins, to notes only, to avoid any health and safety issues as well as time-consuming cashing up routines," said Coun Webber.

"This will be new and perhaps there will be teething problems.

“However, we ask people to be patient while we get the Paramount on course.

"The Paramount is our 'jewel in the crown' and we hope the refurbishment will give it a new appeal. We hope people will enjoy coming back to watch films as much as we will enjoy reopening a local venue that we have all sorely missed."