The City of Sydney has just approved developer giant Mirvac two enormous 270 metre skyscrapers, sandwiching our much loved George St cinema between the two.
The first building will be a 507-serviced apartment building complete with a 159-space parking lot. The other building will be a 43-storey multipurpose building with a childcare centre, gym, shops, and a 347-space parking lot. The development is expected to cost over $692 million.
While there is no immediate plan to demolish the cinema, Mirvac has confirmed the application does propose eventual demolition. If the project goes full steam ahead, a small boutique cinema, with only 4 rooms, could replace the iconic theatre.
Mirvac has said the development will completely reinvent the street, replacing the shabby exterior with a freshly designed, modern complex, packed full of features.
The Sydney of City Mayor Clover Moore, has commended the new plans, with the hopes it will be an innovative step forward for Sydney’s city.
“It’s still special to go out to the movies, but the way we do that is very different to when cinemas on this site were in their heyday,” Mayor Moore said.
“There will still be a cinema, but it will be housed in a more impressive building, alongside bars and a restaurant, retail and childcare.
“The plain, shabby facades will be replaced with a through-sight link from George to Kent Street and a development that will really transform the precinct.” She said.
It is most likely the cinema will be scrapped for the new development.
Some citizens have expressed their disappointment in the new plans, arguing that Sydney “doesn’t need more apartments.”
Really sad to hear that George Street Cinema is set to close . I have so many great memories of that place, but I think the best was the time I took a date to a retro screening of The Blues Brothers as she hadn’t seen it. She stopped answering my calls the next day.
— Peter Zaluzny (@peterzmedia) May 14, 2020
Event Cinemas George Street – A place I worked for about 4 years, was at the frontline (worked 12 straight days) in Gold Class for the release of Sex & the City 2 (calling it, this busiest stretch in GC history), made many friends and watched hundreds of movies as a reviewer.
— Andrew Buckle (@buckle22) May 14, 2020
The George St cinema was first opened in 1976 by Hoyts, the world’s largest cinema complex at the time. Boasting seven screens and 4,3333 seats, the cinema grand opening was complete with a live elephant and all!
The cinema was a glamorous experience for historical Sydneysiders, who would dress up just to see the latest film.
Now, we must say goodbye to another of Sydney’s icons, as more and more are being swallowed by developer jaws.