Tainui and cinema giant Hoyts have revealed plans to build a multimillion-dollar movie complex that will not only "rival anything internationally" for a cinematic experience but will create at least 80 jobs.
The new complex, which is due to open next year at The Base shopping centre in Te Rapa, Hamilton, will be the first purpose-built, fully digitalised movie venue in New Zealand. It will have more than 1300 seats in six cinemas - all with digital 3D capabilities.
Hoyts general manager Brian Eldridge said the venue would include an auditorium for large screen shows, conferences, private functions, sporting entertainment, a bar and gourmet food options.
"We're excited to be creating such a unique and innovative offering to the Waikato and look forward to working with Tainui Group Holdings, owners of The Base, to give the local region a cinema complex which would rival anything found internationally," he said.
Mr Eldridge said despite a 21 per cent increase in cinema-goers over the past year, thanks largely to 3D movies such as Avatar, the complex plans to broaden its horizons for movie fans by showing alternative content.
This would see the likes of popular children's programmes, music concerts for fans unable to get tickets, and sports games - including next year's Rugby World Cup matches in 3D - all streamed live to the cinemas.
"We are talking about global events not just sporting events, but concerts, live theatre, lectures, board meetings, you name it. The venues themselves are starting to become popular for those alternative uses," said Mr Eldridge.