A $39 million dining development has opened at New Zealand's oldest mall today.
The Brickworks - a tree-lined lane featuring eateries such as Wagamama and Shaky Isles - opened at West Auckland's LynnMall at 12pm, with renowned chef Ray McVinnie ringing a brass lunch bell to mark the occasion.
Later this month, the 52-year-old mall will end more than a decade's absence of cinemas in the area by introducing a movie complex.
The new eight-screen multiplex cinema complex will be the first Reading operation to open in Auckland.
Wayne Smith, Reading Entertainment's Australian-based managing director, said he was visiting LynnMall to see the huge new complex for himself.
" I'm just heading over now to assess progress," Smith said of the complex his business will be operating on a long-term lease.
He refused to reveal ticket prices, give a precise opening date or say which films might screen first.
Mid-November has previously been mentioned as a possible cinema opening date but nothing has been confirmed.
Whether ticket prices will be the low $10 is also yet to be announced but in Dunedin, Reading's tickets start at $10 each, undercutting much of the competition.
"Dunedin is now the home of amazing value," Reading said of its cinemas there. "All standard 2D tickets are just $10 and 2D premium tickets are just $15."
See video: Revealed - LynnMall's big extension:
Smith would only say: "Having a point of difference is a great starting point."
However, he did say that more details might be available towards the end of next week.
The LynnMall theatres are spread over a third of a hectare of floorspace and have one giant Titan theatre with a four storey-high move screen and 460 seats which will also boast Dolby Atmos audio technology, said to give a 3D sound experience. The screen is 20m wide by 11m high.
Two premium theatres have their own premium lounge and no standard seats within the theatres.
A further five theatres range from 75 seats up to 200, allowing a big range of films to be screened from blockbusters to art house.
For 14 years, New Lynn has not had a cinema and the development is part of a $39 million extension by listed landlord Kiwi Property which is also adding a new dining precinct with seven outlets.
A new paved north-facing sheltered 'street' has been created, flanked by seven restaurants. Mature trees have been planted in an area called The Brickworks, a nod to the area's pottery history, which includes classic kiwiana label Crown Lynn and the 13 brickworks established there in the 1870s.
The seven outlets are gastro-dining Goode Brothers, wood-fired BBQ Clever & Co, Turkish-Greek Bodrum Kitchen, contemporary Japanese bistro Wagamama, cafe Shaky Isles, Vietnamese Hansan and sushi donburi Meso.
Beside The Brickworks' entry is a new mini-putt golf course, topped with taut floating white sails or canopies for shade and shelter.
But the Brickworks' centrepiece is a circular-shaped sheltered civic plaza which connects to the level one cinemas via a flight of stairs and an up-only escalator.
A slightly raised wooden stage gives a focus to the area. Centre manager Lauren Riley said small events or shows could be held there.
A "non-plastic children's play area" alongside that uses natural features and materials, including timber and a green area, to draw younger patrons.
Less than a fortnight before The Brickworks' opening, the area is still a hectic construction site. The restaurants are being fitted out and the theatres are dark, precarious voids filled with scaffolding and building materials.
But all the bones are in place to extend LynnMall's offering to up to 500,000 people within a 15-minute drive.