Sydney-siders can breathe a big sigh of relief.
Word began to spread on May 15 that Sydney’s beloved George St cinemas, where Event Cinemas holds one of its biggest theatre complexes, was under threat of demolition. A $690 million-plus project approved by the Central Sydney Planning Committee will see a “270-metre, 507-unit residential building” that will “house a childcare facility, shops, a separate boutique cinema and 347-car parking lot,” reported Sydney Morning Herald.
Cue a number of articles announcing that Event Cinemas on George St would be shutting down completely – forever, which would, of course, spark a wave of social media reactions from those understandably upset at the news. The fact that the SMH report had a quote from Event Hospitality and Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Jane Hastings that “there are no plans at this stage to close the George Street cinemas,” was lost on many.
Now comes reiteration from Event Cinemas George St themselves.
“It’s been reported in the media that our cinema at George Street is closing, however this is incorrect – there are no plans to close,” the cinema posted to Instagram.
Event Cinemas George St pointed out that while they “have been temporarily shut due to COVID-19,” doors will be re-opening with upgrades made to the premises. “We’ve upgraded our big-screen V-Max theatres, now with daybeds, luxury seating and full recliners, and we’ve introduced a new marketplace candy bar as well as contactless self-service technology.”
On the same post, a person asked Event Cinemas, “So what gives with all the development news then?” Their response: “That may be true, but we’ll still be here.”
View this post on Instagram
It’s been reported in the media that our cinema at George Street is closing, however this is incorrect – there are no plans to close. While our doors have been temporarily shut due to COVID-19, we’ve upgraded our big-screen V-Max theatres, now with daybeds, luxury seating and full recliners, and we’ve introduced a new marketplace candy bar as well as contactless self-service technology. We can’t wait to welcome you back so you can experience it for yourself when we are able to re-open our doors.
As of now, it appears that the cinema will be staying there – even as the big development plans unfold. Just how much of the cinema’s layout and size is affected, is another story.
“New cinema developments at Broadway and Central Park are indicative of the change to a model where theatres seat a smaller audience, in a more intimate setting,” said Sydney Mayor Clover Moore. “There will still be a cinema, but it will be housed in a more impressive building, alongside bars and a restaurant, retail and childcare.”
It’s long been the local cinema for this particular writer. I’m happy to see it stay – even with a new form.