MERLIN Cinemas have confirmed the opening date for the former Odeon in Ayr.

The facility on Burns Statue Square is set to make its grand comeback on Friday, March 29, almost ten months after the former owners opted to close the venue in June last year.

Now to be called the Astoria Cinema, the venue will be only the second to be operated by Merlin in Scotland.

Merlin Cinemas started almost 35 years ago with a single-screen venue in Penzance; the Astoria will be the company's 20th cinema around the UK and its second in Scotland.

A number of the facilities operated by the company, who took on the former Odeon in Ayr in August last year, have been heritage buildings repurposed for the communities they serve.

The Astoria building first opened in 1938 and is the only surviving cinema in Scotland which was purpose-built for the Odeon company.

It was designed by Thomas Braddock, who was also responsible for the group’s flagship cinema in Leicester Square, London.

Its iconic landmark tower and magnificent design make an important contribution to the streetscape of Ayr and Burns Statue Square.

The cinema has required repairs and improvements before it can re-open, though Merlin say they remain committed to improving the cinema further and enhancing the film-going experience for the local community.

They have also made it their mission to ensure that the cinema experience in Ayr remains affordable for all.

Standard tickets are priced from £5, and further savings can be made with Merlin’s Movie Magic card "offering big screen entertainment at the small price of just £4 all year round".

The cinema will be showing a range of hotly anticipated new release films on opening including: Kung Fu Panda 4; Godzilla x Kong; The New Empire; Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire; Bob Marley: One Love; Dune: Part Two, and Migration.

Their regular programme will also feature special 'revival screenings' of cinema favourites and event cinema productions including opera, ballet, theatre and music concerts.

The Astoria will also host regular parent and baby, relaxed (autism-friendly) and subtitled screenings for the hard of hearing.

Merlin’s popular Silver Screen strand, which includes a hot drink, biscuits and reduced-price tickets, all for £4.50, kicks off on Thursday, April 18, with award-winner Oppenheimer.

South Ayrshire Council is set to approve a grant this week of £70,000 to Merlin Cinemas for external refurbishment works at the building.

Merlin's existing network includes six cinemas in Cornwall, five in Devon and two in Somerset, as well as single cinemas in Gloucestershire, Norfolk, Teesside and north Wales and the Merlin in Thurso,

For more information about Merlin Cinemas or the Astoria Cinema Ayr visit