Hollywood stars won't be in short supply in one Auckland suburb when it cements its place as New Zealand's true cinema capital.

Newmarket will have the highest number of cinema seats for any one area in the country when a new multiplex opens there this month, bringing more than 20 theatres to the suburb.

By the end of January, Newmarket will have three large multiplex theatres within a few blocks of each other:

• Event Broadway;
• Rialto Cinema;
• New Event at Westfield Newmarket.


Australian-headquartered Event Cinemas has taken an anchor tenancy in the new $790 million Westfield Newmarket, developed at 277 Broadway and 309 Broadway and mostly opened towards the end of last year.

The third Newmarket multiplex is scheduled to open this month after the huge development of two entire city blocks and the new complex could offer features not seen in other New Zealand theatres.

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Mark Knoff-Thomas, Newmarket Business Association chief executive, said there was room for all three big cinema complexes in the suburb.

"There will be around 20 theatres when the new one opens. That new rooftop one is going to be a bit more of a boutique complex and will offer features that Event Broadway doesn't have. I can't wait, really," Knoff-Thomas said.

The Rialto Cinema would offer more art-films, he said. Event films tend to be more mainstream blockbusters.

The national Event chain already has a major presence in the suburb 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 at 167-169 Broadway.


Now, Event will open its second multiplex at the motorway viaduct end of Westfield Newmarket, on the 309 Broadway site, meaning Event will operate two separate multiplex complexes in the area.

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ASX-listed Scentre Group half-owns 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.

Event Cinemas will operate two multiplex complexes in Newmarket from this month. Photo / David Rowland
Event Cinemas will operate two multiplex complexes in Newmarket from this month. Photo / David Rowland

A spokesperson for Event Hospitality and Entertainment on Sydney's George St said last week that more information would be available on the second Newmarket multiplex this week.

In the meantime, even the name of the new multiplex remains secret: Event can't call the second theatre Event Broadway - even though it's on that strip because that name is already in use.

So its second multiplex in the suburb might be called Event Newmarket but that is yet to be announced.

Scentre has emphasised links between the new cinemas and its dining precinct.

V-Max is Event's "big screen blockbuster movie experience, featuring stadium seating and show the latest Hollywood blockbusters".

Event already operates 18 cinema complexes nationally, many of those in Auckland.