Thousands go through turnstiles at Kempsey cinema

The $6.15 million Majestic Cinema in Kempsey was officially opened today and dignitaries learned it had already attracted 3000 patrons since trading commenced.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan, Kempsey Shire Council Mayor Liz Campbell and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey joined partners Gowings Bros to officially open the entertainment complex today.

Mr Conaghan said it was great to learn locals and visitors had flocked to the four cinemas and the town centre had a new buzz since screenings commenced on 28 November 2019.

“It’s pleasing to hear business is booming at the cinema, with management reporting high patronage, hundreds of people dropping in for a tour and large numbers signing up to the Majestic Movie Club,” he said.

“The Federal Government’s $611 million National Stronger Regions Fund is all about building stronger, more prosperous regions and I am pleased to see investing $2 million from this fund in the cinema is achieving that for Kempsey.

“Kempsey already has a great reputation as a traditional country town and is the commercial centre of the nearby beautiful beach areas. Being able to see a movie while in town can only improve the experience for visitors and tourists.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the cinema had provided five new jobs at management and supervisory level and 15 new jobs for young people.

“It’s important young people in regional areas have job opportunities in their local town and the new cinema has created ongoing jobs, plus the project supported 333 jobs during construction,” he said.

“I am confident the cinema will produce long-term economic benefits to the region as it maintains jobs, encourages shoppers into the city retail centre and attracts more visitors to the town.”

This project is an example of what can be achieved when all tiers of government work constructively with the private sector. The Federal Government invested $2 million in the project, Kempsey Shire Council - $2 million, and Gowing Bros Limited - $2,150,000.

Gowing Bros Limited leases the cinema to Majestic Cinemas, a company founded in Nambucca on the Mid North Coast over 17 years ago, which has grown to run eight cinemas. 

“Since 2014, Council backed getting a commercial cinema complex for Kempsey as we knew it provide a valuable recreational and social outlet for locals and tourists, but also stimulate the business opportunities right in town,” Cr Campbell said.

“The reality is that Kempsey’s population base was smaller than the size usually required to attract a private investment to build a cinema complex, but we knew it would work operationally, which is why we advocated strongly for multiple levels of government support to get it started.

“It’s exciting to be able to officially open the cinema and thank all the partners. The sky is the limit in terms of what it can deliver in cultural activities and events and I’m told this summer’s offering of movies like Frozen 2, Star Wars Episode 9, Dr Dolittle and Cats is just the beginning.”