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Cinema chains battle over redevelopment of former Brisbane roller skate arena

Cinema chains battle over redevelopment of former Brisbane roller skate arena
July 18, 2018

Competing cinema groups are battling over the future of a former roller skate arena in inner-city Brisbane

A $10 million redevelopment proposed by Five Star Cinemas at the prominent location was approved by Brisbane City Council last year. However, the Reading Group, a subsidiary of Newmarket Properties Pty Ltd, is seeking to have the approval overturned in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court.

The Red Hill Skate Rink Arena, sited to the north east of the Brisbane CBD, was burnt down on Boxing Day in 2002 and was added to the council's heritage register in 2016.

Last year, Reading Cinemas opened an eight-screen complex in Newmarket, less than two kilometres from the Red Hill site.

Five Star Cinemas partner Peter Sourris told the ABC “we never had other objections but now we have to go through the process.

"Council is the first respondent, so they will be questioned on the application first, and then us — it's all public information and we ticked all the boxes.

"We applied through council and we were surprised to receive an objection from the Newmarket development which has a cinema and shops down the road."

In court filings, the Reading Group claims the development application and approval did not give "proper regard to relevant considerations".

Over the coming weeks, Five Star hopes to replace the roof on the complex to prevent further theft and damage to the property.

Sourris told ABC Radio Brisbane “it's very dangerous inside and people are breaking in all the time, so we have started to clean up areas of the location.”

He said existing steel trusses would be retained if the development went ahead, along with the street facade and arches.

The building is more than 100 years old and was originally an open-air theatre called the Paddington Picture Pops, then in the 1950s it became the State Theatre.

Sourris added “it has a lot of history and has a lot of old elements that we want to bring back to life, like the terrazzo floor and the ticket-box windows."

The proposed five-cinema complex will see theatres ranging from 28 to 120 seats configured on site.

Sourris concluded “the majority of the community support the idea, it's only a very small theatre, but everyone has different opinions.

"Some think parking could be an issue, but the cafes and the residents nearby really want a boutique cinema to attend."

The Reading Group has issued no comment on its objections.

The case will be heard in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court next month.

The Red Hill Skate Rink Arena awaits redevelopment. Image courtesy of Flickr/Darkday.

4th March 2018 - TOOWOOMBA SKATE CITY CLOSES DOORS FOR FINAL TIME

11th July 2017 - CINEMA CHAINS DISCOUNT TICKET PRICES IN STAGNANT MARKET

17th May 2016 - CINEMAS MOVE TO PROVIDE LUXURY THEATRE SEATING 

29th January 2016 - PLAN TO TURN FORMER HARDWARE STORE INTO ICE HOCKEY HUB

9th September 2015 - LONG TERM VIABILITY OF CINEMA IN JEOPARDY AS ATTENDANCES SHRINK 

10th March 2012 - BRISBANE SKATE CARTEL PUSHES FOR BETTER SKATE PARKS 

7th October 2010 - ROLLER DERBY MAKES A COMEBACK


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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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