A new 20-year lease has paved the way for an upgrade & expansion of the Rialto arthouse cinema complex on Newmarket Broadway.
Building owner The National Property Trust will spend $2.4 million on refurbishment, and Village Rialto will refit the existing 5 cinemas. They will also add 2 more screens and change the foyer.
Village Rialto is a joint venture between Village SkyCity Cinemas (itself a joint venture between SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd & Village Roadshow of Melbourne) and private company Rialto Entertainment Ltd (Kelly Rogers & accountant David Ross), the operator.
The cinema complex occupies 24% of the Rialto Centre.
The upgrade will include a repositioned & refurbished foyer, new cafÃ© & concession area, auditorium seating, floor coverings, toilet facilities, upgraded sound insulation and a general refurbishment throughout the premises.National’s executive chairman, Paul Dallimore, said the long lease would give confidence to other Rialto tenants, which would all benefit from increased foot traffic. Mr Dallimore said the trust had already started the remix of upper level tenants to accommodate the cinema changes.
Work will start in February 2005 for completion in October.
Mr Rogers, of Rialto Entertainment, said: “The upgrade to the cinema complex will significantly increase the cinematic experiences for our customers and add to its general ambience. With the refurbishment & addition of 2 new screens, we will not only be able to increase the number & variety of movies that we show, but also ensure that this is the premiere arthouse & crossover cinema complex in New Zealand.”The Rialto Newmarket refurbishment is one of a number of upgrades Village SkyCity has scheduled. It’s also added 3 more screens to the Dunedin Rialto this year. Village Rialto Cinemas operates 20 screens in 5 cities.