New cinema complex approved for Brisbane

A seven-cinema complex will be built in Brisbane’s east after hundreds of residents spent years pleading with the council to bring movies to the area. Courtesy: Brisbane Times

A seven-cinema complex will be built in Brisbane’s east after hundreds of residents spent years pleading with the council to bring movies to the area. 

On Tuesday, Brisbane City Council’s city planning committee unanimously endorsed the proposed $30 million development on Berrima Street at Wynnum.

The council first received an application for the seven cinemas with a total of 472 seats, as well as residential towers and a retail outlet, on June 21, 2017. 

The site currently consists of seven small lots which are a mix of vacant land and residential dwellings.

The application lodged by Berrima Develop Pty Ltd received almost 990 submissions, with 886 supporting the development. 

One resident said they strongly supported the proposal as the area needed the development.

“Wynnum needs this development and full makeover to the rest of the street shopping areas to bring it up to date and make the area buzz,” the submission said.

“Currently the Wynnum eating and shopping area is dodgy and not appealing.”

Another said the development would be a positive contribution to Wynnum and the bayside as a whole.

“The development will provide Wynnum and the bayside suburbs of Brisbane with a much-desired cinema which will support local business and the social needs of residents,” the submission said.

“The proposed development will also encourage growth supporting the local centre and creating employment opportunities for local residents.”

Concerns raised during the proposed development’s assessment period were to do with vehicle access, building design and cinema noise impacts, which prompted slight alterations to the originally submitted design.

The closest cinemas for Wynnum residents were at Capalaba or Carindale.

Council’s city planning chairman Julian Simmonds said the cinema proposal followed several years of campaigning by the lord mayor to encourage cinema operators to invest in Wynnum.

“The cinema follows other recent approvals for the upgrade of the Waterloo Bay Hotel as well as residential and retail complex on the corner of Bay Terrace and Charlotte Street, and will add to the vibrant Wynnum community,” he said.

The development, which will be primarily eight storeys but hit nine storeys in parts, will also deliver 67 residential units across two towers and a retail tenancy.

There will be 139 car parking spaces – including 72 residential, 10 residential visitor spaces, four accessible parking spaces and 53 commercial spaces – with all vehicle access made from Berrima Street.

Opposition leader and Wynnum councillor Peter Cumming supported the proposal.

It is unclear which operator will run the cinema, but construction was expected to start in April.