TOFT Road’s Studio Cinema will be known as ‘Curzon Knutsford’ from early 2013.

As reported in the Guardian, the arthouse and independent film specialist has signed a 25-year deal with Cheshire East Council to manage the historic cinema.

It is anticipated that the venue will be completely refurbished and rebranded by early January.

This will include a café bar and new digital projection equipment.

The Curzon will also be offering private hire and special ‘live’ events on screen such as the Met Opera and the National Theatre.

Philip Knatchbull, chief executive officer for Curzon, said: “We’re delighted to be able to realise our vision to create a quality cinema for the community of Knutsford and its surrounding area.

“A visit to Curzon is much more than just going into the screen and watching a film – it is a place where people can engage with one another in a relaxed atmosphere and discuss the films that we are showing.

“We would like to thank Cheshire East Council for placing their faith in us.”

Curzon Knutsford will be the chain’s first cinema outside of London but the company is in talks to open several other venues across the country.

It currently operates six sites in the capital attracting 600,000 viewers a year and owns film distributor Artificial Eye which recently released We Need To Talk About Kevin and Melancholia.

The sum paid by Curzon to run the 180-seat hall has not yet been made public.

Knutsford’s cinema first opened in 1935 as the Marcliff Cinema and was then reopened as the Studio Cinema and Civic Centre in 1991.