Topic: New Zealand: Hoyts closes Mid-City in Wellington
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003
posted May 09, 2003 02:39 PM
From the Dominion Post:
Mid-City cinema closure
If you planning a night watching the flicks at Wellington's Mid City multiplex think again.
Fierce competition in Wellington's cinema market has forced Hoyts Mid-City to close it doors without advising shopkeepers who relied on movie-goers to boost trade.
Hoyts New Zealand general manager Stuart McInnes said yesterday the four-screen multiplex may reopen but he refused to say when.
He also declined to say why advertising hoardings displaying films "now showing" were still up despite the cinema doors being closed.
Hoyts head office in Sydney also refused comment.
Asked why movie-goers weren't told of the closure, Hoyts property manager Wayne Smith said: "We're a private company and its really not a matter we want to discuss in the press openly."
After offering cheap tickets and canning day sessions to counter competition – mainly from Reading's 10 cinema Courtenay Central complex – Hoyts shut down the Mid City multiplex altogether late last month.
Shopkeepers in the Mid City complex said Hoyts failed to communicate with them.
"At first they closed during the day and then two weeks ago they shut down altogether and no one told us a thing," said a spokesman for Mid City Books and Candy that sells refreshments from a small store beside the escalators leading to the multiplex.
"We really rely on movie customers for a lot of our business and of course we are annoyed that we weren't told of plans to shut down the movies.
"As we buy stock in advance it has hurt us and now we are shutting at 6pm when before we would stay open till around 9. It's no good."
Mid City Bar has also suffered.
"We are missing out on a lot of passing traffic now," duty manager Dinu Ranchod said today. "It is also disappointing that no one told us a thing and we only found out when the doors didn't open."
Alastair Duncan, of the Service and Food Workers Union, said today that Hoyts had had a union agreement covering its staff but that had ended after the union refused to agree to major concessions.
"We will still have some members who worked at Mid City, but at this stage we have received no advice from Hoyts on what's going on," Mr Duncan said.
The demise of Hoyts was forecast by industry insiders who, in August last year, were reported as saying the Mid City and Manners Mall complexes were "bleeding to death".
"At least one of the Hoyts complexes will be closed shortly," an industry insider said at the time.
| IP: Logged