SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film and the new Star Wars film The Force Awakens, are likely to be shown in the National Media Museum's big screen IMAX cinema this year after the completion of improvements costing nearly £800,000.

Work on upgrading the 32-year-old cinema involves changing the IMAX projection system into digital format, replacing the 50ft high screen both of which were installed in 1999 as part of improvements to the whole building costing more than £16 million.

The changing technology of film-making means that IMAX films are now made entirely in digital format. Huge wheels of film have been replaced by a disc.

Although the IMAX cinema has a digital projector, it's IMAX projector has yet to be upgraded to digital.

That was why the IMAX version of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, could not be screened at the NMM.

The upgrading, which may include improving the 240-seat auditorium, will mean the closure of IMAX for eight weeks this year, although exactly when is not yet clear.

The new IMAX digital system is expected to be up and running by this summer.

Jo Quinton-Tulloch, the museum's director, said: "Upgrading the IMAX theatre is part of our promise to improve the cinema operation at the Museum and crucial to us achieving our ambition to be the place in Yorkshire to see film."

The cost of the improvements, £780,000, will be paid for by a loan from the Department of Culture, Media & Sport through a pilot scheme for museums to invest in approved projects with the aim developing new approaches to business and becoming more commercial.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “These are exciting plans and they will take the National Media Museum’s IMAX experience on to a whole new level – effectively going from one or two feature films a year to one or two a month.

"This is a clear statement of intent for the long-term development of this iconic and famous museum and forms part of wider plans to move the attraction forward and drive up visitor numbers.”

An NMM spokesman said the new IMAX screen would still mean that Bradford had the biggest cinema screen in Yorkshire.

The work means that this year's Wide Screen Weekend event at the NMM will take place from October 15-18.