Construction work has delayed the opening of New Zealand's biggest new multiplex cinema.
The new theatres at the revamped and expanded $790 million Westfield Newmarket were forecast by the mall owner to open last month.
But a spokesman for Event Hospitality and Entertainment in Sydney which has leased space for the cinemas said yesterday: "The fit-out is taking longer than originally expected."
Work is now in its final stages "and we will announce further details later in the month as the opening date gets closer," he said.
On November 21, ASX-listed Scentre Group said the multiplex in its new centre would be open by January.
Yet, there are no external signs of the state-of-the-art entertainment facility opening and sources it might not be till March till that happens.
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As part of a staged opening of new shops in the expanded revamped mall, Scentre said on November 21: "Other openings across the centre today included: Majestic Tea Bar, Whitcoulls, Specsavers, Life Pharmacy, Phone Zone, The Beauty Bar and Parlour, Just Cuts, Shaver Shop. H&M will open on 12 December with Event Cinema featuring Vmax and Gold Class to follow in January."
Asked in early January when the cinemas would open, a Scentre spokesperson referred the inquiry to "Event directly about specific details for their launch program."
On January 21, an Event Hospitality and Entertainment spokesperson in Sydney told the Herald: "It is a little bit early for us but I am working through what detail I can provide, so will be in touch."
Staff at other Event cinemas they had heard the new multiplex will not open till March.
They expect both Event multiplexes to operate in the same suburb within just a few blocks of each other because demand in the area is strong.
The new Event is at the Southern Motorway end of Westfield Newmarket and is to be accessed from the Westfield Newmarket rooftop dining precinct.
When the new complex opens, Newmarket will have the highest number of cinema seats for any one area in the country, bringing more than 20 separate theatres to the suburb in three different venues.
Those three multiplexes will be within a few blocks of each other: the national Event chain already has a big Newmarket presence with its art deco-style Event Broadway at 77 Broadway above the Olympic Pool and Fitness Centre; art house Rialto Cinema upstairs in the Rialto Centre is at 167-169 Broadway; and the new Event will be on the 309 Broadway site.
Scentre has 51 per cent of that mall, with Singapore's GIC controlling the remaining 49 per cent but taking a passive role and not involved in any publicity or announcements.