Palace has announced plans to build a six-screen cinema complex in Sydney’s once-exclusive Eastern suburb of Double Bay. It will be constructed on the site of the former Stamford Plaza Hotel, which closed in 2009. It is expected the cinema will open in 2012-2013 on the Cross Street site as part of a revitalization of the area.
This comes just months after Palace announcement of the new cinemas at Green Square Town Centre, and goes against the tide of cinemas that have been rapidly closing across Sydney over the last few years, including the former Village Cinemas Double Bay on New South Head Road. When that cinema closed it 2004, it signaled an exodus of businesses to the nearby Westfield Bondi Junction, which presently houses an 11-screen state-of-the-art facility. It also replaced the former twin cinema that once sat on the current Westfield site.
In July 2010, the closure of seminal Sydney locale Palace Academy Twin on Oxford Street in Paddington was the most recent in a long line of cinema closure across Sydney, including the Dendy Martin Place and George Street, the Stanmore Cinema, the Rialto Mandolin on Elizabeth Street and the Valhalla Cinema in Glebe to name but a few.
The Double Bay cinema will face stiff competition from the Bondi Junction cinemas, but will also come with the Palace branding and the power of world cinema. The Palace Cinema chain brings with it film festivals from around the world and the kinds of independent and foreign language films that the larger chains do not play. The similarly themed Hoyts Cinema Paris, located at the Entertainment Quarter near Fox Studios and accompanied by a multiplex Hoyts cinema, is already in direct competition with the shopping centre cinema at Bondi Junction.
The Randwick Ritz cinema, host of the annual Australian Film Festival, is another independent cinema in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, known for offering lower prices on first-release films.