IT’S lights, camera, action at Greenock’s Waterfront Cinema after the completion of a £300,000 improvements programme.

The money has been invested over the last two years by owners West Coast Cinemas, including installing 3D projection equipment.

The four-hall cinema sold 86,000 tickets in 2013, and this year hopes to encourage even more people through the doors.

A total of 12 full and part-time staff keep the screens running from 12.30 to 10.30pm every day.

General manager John Cunningham praised his workers for their flexibility.

He said: “We’re always looking for ways to improve our service to the public. It’s one of the most exciting times to be involved in cinema because of the new audiences we’re attacting.” The cinema has been using its new digital technology to show live concerts and theatre performances from around the world, from Elton John in Las Vegas to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Boishoi Ballet in Moscow and the National Theatre in London.

Inverclyde MP Iain McKenzie visited the cinema to see the improvements to the foyer and the new theatre management system which operates the projectors.

He said: “This cinema was built because there was a demand for it, so it’s important that Inverclyde people support it as much as possible.

“I’m very impressed with the way the cinema is run, and the quality of training given to staff.” West Coast director/co-owner, David Shaw, said it is significantly cheaper to visit the Waterfront Cinema rather than go farther afield.

He said: “My main ambition is to keep Inverclyde’s film fans going to their local cinema.

“We’re supporting the community through screenings for special groups, such as parent and toddlers, and we responded to customer requests for baby changing facilities.” David and John are now looking forward to the Greenock Chamber of Commerce Bees Knees awards on 6 June, where the Waterfront Cinema is in the final three for the best use of technology and innovation prize.