BLOCKBUSTERS will soon be hitting the screens of a £4.6million multiplex as cinema bosses have revealed the date of the site’s first screenings.

A nine-screen Vue Cinemas complex at the heart of the Feethams leisure development, Darlington, was promised to cinemagoers when a blueprint for the former bus depot site was drawn up in 2013.

And after months of planning and building, the 1,266 seat venue is set to open its doors on Thursday, June 23.

The official opening date was revealed by Rachel Carter, general manager at Vue Darlington, during The Northern Echo’s tour of the cinema yesterday (June 10).

Ms Carter said: “We’re on track and it’s going to be very exciting when we do open to the public with all these new facilities on offer.

“It really does sound like it’s causing a buzz in the town at the moment and that’s great for Darlington.”

The complex, which has created 48 new jobs in Darlington, will now see workers carefully unfurl sheets of material used to form the auditorium screens that will offer regular and 3D showings.

Ms Carter added: “The screen hanging marks the start of our countdown to opening the doors to customers.

“Watching the big screens going up was an exciting moment for everyone involved in the project.

“We can’t wait to welcome those in the area to our superb venue for a truly unique movie experience.”

Doubts over the cinema’s official opening had been previously discredited by Feethams developers after restaurants around the venue decided to open their doors to visitors rather than wait for the multiplex to be completed.

Nando’s, Bella Italia, Prezzo, and The Woollen Mill Hungry Horse pub had staggered openings earlier in the year before the 80-bed Premier Inn hotel welcomed guests staying in the town last month.

But with the delicate screen-hanging process fully under way, the Vue cinema complex will officially launch on the same day as the release of summer action blockbuster, Independence Day: Resurgence.

Darlington-born Simon Hawkins, development director with Urban & Civic, the property development company behind the new the multi-million pound Feethams leisure scheme, said: “We are looking forward to working alongside Vue and all our partners to make sure Feethams becomes an integral part of the local economy and wider community.

“Part of our plan was to ensure we offered the people of Darlington a complete entertainment experience, and we’re thrilled those plans are now coming to fruition.”

Disabled access to each screen has been incorporated into the venue’s design and rows of VIP seating have also been included within each auditorium.

Twelve tills will be up and running for the cinema’s opening alongside self-service machines inside the site’s ticket hall, which can be accessed from two points within the development.

The opening will also coincide with Feethams Fest on Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26, to mark the official launch of the entire development.