New cinema set to open in early 2021

First we had the Star Theatre, then the Nova Cinema.

In less than 18 months, and after false starts with other bids, Queanbeyan will have its newest movie theatre, United Cinemas.

The development application for the complex was approved in March 2018, but work was delayed because of a several factors.

The site of the new complex above Kmart in Morisset Street has now been demolished, and United Cinemas chairman Roy Mustaca said construction would begin in the new year.

"We've cleared the site and now we are looking at what separation walls between each cinema will be best suited to the complex," he said. "It's quite a difficult thing to get right, and we want to make sure we do it as best we can.

"We want the people of Queanbeyan to have the very best cinema experience."

United Cinemas were the first in Australia to use the state-of-the-art, three-dimensional Dolby ATMOS sound system, Mr Mustaca said.

"We installed it in our Craigieburn (Victoria) cinema. It offers a robust but true sound. But to get the full value from it you need to have the right separation walls to take care of amplification.

"None of the major cinema chains use the format because it provides a very specific type of sound."

Mr Mustaca said construction and fitout work would take between 12 and 14 months. "So people can expect to be watching movies in the comfort of our new cinemas in February 2021 if all goes to plan." He didn't expect much disruption to businesses or shoppers during construction.

Development of the complex is expected to provide a major employment boost to the town, particularly in casual employment.

The United Cinemas complex will have nine theatres with a total seating capacity of 1315, a licensed bar, lounge area and arcade.

QPRC Mayor Tim Overall has been a long-time advocate for a local cinema. At the time the development application was approved, Cr Overall said the cinema would bring visitors to Queanbeyan, benefit surrounding businesses and get people in to the CBD.