Questions raised over new CBD cinema plans
THE FOUNDER of Limelight Cinemas has slammed Ipswich City Council's decision to include a new cinema in its redevelopment plans for the city's CBD.
Ross Entwistle said he believed the prospects of success for the project were extremely low.
"It seems lazy that interesting and unique alternative ways to reinvigorate that haven't been explored," Mr Entwhistle said.
"Instead, we're trying to recreate more restaurants, shops and cinemas that already exist and will compete directly with businesses that don't have the benefit of being subsidised by the public purse."
Mr Entwistle claimed the number of screens relative to population in the Ipswich Local Government area are as high or even higher than anywhere else in the country.
"The Ipswich Local Government area has the lowest ticket price for cinemas in Australia because it's competitive, because they're new complexes, that dynamic has played out."
An Ipswich City Council spokesman said there was "an appetite from cinema operators for a presence in the renewed precinct."
"It should be noted that cinemas were operating in Nicholas St up until recently and Limelight cinemas operated in competition with them for a number of years," they said.
Interim Administrator Steve Greenwood said the council does not see itself as long-term owners of the assets and plans to sell them once the project is completed and a trading record has been established.
"The fact is that council owns these assets and has committed to a renewal of the Nicholas St precinct. To make this work there needs to be investment in both public and commercial assets. While council is a commercial landlord, it needs to ensure this is a thriving area once again," he said.