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Maybe it’s because Village Cinemas is based in Melbourne that it is crowning its cinema chain there, with the opening on October 16, 2008 of the multi million dollar, super mega multiplex, at Westfield Doncaster. With the focus on “style, design, technology and comfort,” the complex features a total of nine auditoriums incorporating three Gold Class cinemas, one huge 22m Vmax screen featuring stadium seating and Dolby Digital surround sound, and one Europa cinema dedicated to arthouse films; a total of 1,755 seats.

The Doncaster complex is 17 km from the Melbourne CBD, and the user friendly environment is designed to keep customers out of the city even more than ever. To the end of August, Melbourne city cinemas took $14 million, compared to the Melbourne suburban cinemas, which took $131 million.

In Sydney the pattern is similar, but the margins not as big: city $21 million, suburbs $122 million.

Village Cinemas Doncaster will be able to screen about 45 sessions a day, employing some 110 (mostly local) staff, selling 10,500 kg popcorn and 82,610 litres of coke a year to about 500,000 ticket holders.

"a statement in style and accessible luxury."

Roughly 200 people worked on the design elements “to create the ultimate entertainment, leisure and shopping experience as a statement in style and accessible luxury. The Village Cinemas design presents as a new dramatic brand expression reflecting contemporary lifestyle values within a multi media entertainment experience,” says the team, headed by Village Cinemas Director of Architecture, Chris Johnstone, regarded as a pioneer in cinema design for 30 years in over 20 countries.

The way the designers describe it, the place sounds more like an art installation than a multiplex:

“The main lobby space reveals as a lofted volume with dramatic form and shape, staged theatrical lighting casts soft colour and graphics onto expressed surfaces. The design incorporates natural elements, stone and textures combined with sculptured custom carpets, inset timber gallery style flooring and designer furniture.

“The combination of walls, beams and floating ceilings creates a visual perspective to the grand stair and portal entry that accesses the elevated cinema areas.

“The arrival area is a mixture of metallic and gloss surfaces, concealed lighting within a restrained brand presence.

“View lines into Gold Class reveal an interior of bold accents and high-end design finishes. The Gold Class lounge is a meld of theatre, art and style, an intimate lounge area expressing occasion and mood. A rich and textured ambience, soft lighting and screened views. A palette of luxury fabrics and burnished timbers, custom designed lighting, furniture and modern artworks.

The Gold Class auditoriums feature a new design in reclining lounge style seating upholstered in burnt-orange suede and set-off with a dark chocolate brown interior.

"wall to wall screens and state of the art sound and projection"

“The cinema’s access foyer is a journey through black reflective and metallic wall surfaces along a gallery walkway that is softly lit and featuring Hollywood narrative art works.

The VMax auditorium and mainstream cinemas are equipped with wall to wall screens and state of the art sound and projection. Charcoal black interiors, deep textured carpets and gold accented high back stadium seating create a modern aesthetic.”

Published October 16, 2008


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