By Shirley Higgins-Croft.
After what seems like an interminable wait, the new Event Cinemas multiplex has opened at Smithfield shopping centre. Mayor Bob Manning officiated over the opening ceremony with assistance from staffers Flossie Henderson and Matthew Jenkins
The event got off to a slightly rocky start. Manning lumbered up the welcoming staircase (above), had a short rest, and then realised he’d left the scissors in his car. He descended the stairs, fetched the scissors and again shuffled up the stairs, took a short rest, and handed the scissors to guest of honour, Rebecca Gibney, who cut the ribbon with a flourish. Loud cheers erupted in the theater vestibule.
The development of a cinema complex in the northern beaches has been subject to speculation and negotiation for twenty years, with Greater Union, Hoyts and King Leo Catalano all submitting proposals over that period. Finally in 2016, Event Cinemas won over the city council during a horn-and-prawn night with visions of a development that would include an aquarium, wind farm and ice-rink, in addition to the cineplex and fixed popcorn prices.
The rest is history. Event Cinemas now have complexes in the City, Central and Earlville and effectively enjoy a silver-screen monopoly in Cairns.