Bolton Council has approved plans for the first phase of the makeover and extension of Market Place shopping centre since its acquisition by South African retail investor Inception Holdings last year.
The project designed by Wren Architecture & Design will see the creation of a nine-screen, 1,200-seat cinema within the existing centre.
The 30,000 sq ft cinema will be installed in part of the 640-space three-storey car park, with partial replacement of parking spaces above. Bolton does not currently have a town centre cinema.
The 400,000 sq ft centre is due to undergo a major overhaul including opening up Victorian basement vaults for a restaurant arcade and reconfiguring retail units.
Inception, working with UK delivery partner Moorgarth, a Leeds-based developer, bought the centre for a reported £24m in November from administrators of Warner Estates.
Peter Brett Associates advises Moorgarth.