The community mourned deeply when the Double Bay Village Twin cinema closed in 2004. The area's nightlife and night-time economy died off as a result.
The suburb has changed significantly since then, with restaurants such as Mistelle and Bibo Wine Bar livening up the area. Today’s announcement that Palace Cinemas will be opening a new ten-screen cinema in the Cross Street carpark (on the corner of Jamberoo Lane) in 2018/19 will be very welcome news for residents of the east.
“We always wanted to have a Palace Cinema in Double Bay,” Benjamin Zeccola, Palace Cinemas’ CEO, tells Broadsheet. “Numerous residents have actually asked us for it. The pre-existing cinema demonstrated a really strong film-going community and it’s a terrific catchment area for other suburbs in Sydney.”
The designer is yet to be confirmed but the look of the cinema will be most similar to Palace Norton Street, Palace Cinema Como in Melbourne and Palace Electric Cinema in Canberra.
The film program will be Palace’s usual mix of art-house and foreign film festivals as well as some blockbusters. “There will be a focus on quality film; we’ll show James Bond and the Bourne movies but will leave The Fast and the Furious for Westfield,” Zeccola says.
He’s not worried about the cinema’s ability to survive so close to the Westfield Hoyts complex. In Melbourne, Palace Cinema Como is less than 500 metres from Village’s Jam Factory. He believes quality cinemas can co-exist with mainstream complexes.
“People come for the experience – the quality of our wine list, the food. The whole experience is more refined.”