Hoyts wins trial of 3am closing for new blockbusters at Cronulla cinema but fails in live music bid

Cronulla cinema will be allowed to stay open until 3am on 12 occasions a year to screen new release blockbuster movies.

The late operating hours will be on trial for a year, after which an extension can be sought.

Hoyts, which took over the cinema from Greater Union this month, has received development consent from Sutherland Shire Council for upgrade works costing about $5.53 million.

Hoyts plans to reopen the refurbished complex in July.

The extended hours were included in the development approval, which has a range of conditions attached.

Hoyts initially asked for a closing time of 1am, seven days a week, but revised the application on the basis that new films in the industry open with midnight screenings.

Standard trading hours will be 8am to 12am each day.

Extended trading hours, for a trial period of 12 months, will allow 1am closing on Monday to Sunday and 3am closing on Tuesday to Saturday on 12 occasions a year.

On those 12 occasions, a minimum of one uniformed security officer must be engaged between 11pm and until 30 minutes after closing time.

The security guard/s must also ensure that patrons of the licensed premises do not loiter or linger in the area nor cause any nuisance or annoyance to the quiet and good order of the neighbourhood.

"The management of the premises must maintain unfettered control over the operation of the business and the patrons attending the premises," the council stated.

"The entry doors must not be openable (sic) from the outside after 12pm to restrict access into the premises late at night.

"Doors can be opened from the inside or at staff request. A sign must be present on the doors detailing this management strategy."

Hoyts was less successful with a request for occasional live entertainment, DJ and amplified music for corporate clients.

The council said this was "not supported and does not form part of this approval".

Other conditions include:

  • New external doors must be timber framed to match the other shop front window and door openings on the northern and western facade of the building.
  • Ticketing machines on level one (entry foyer) must be relocated to level two to ensure cinema patrons do not gather in the entry foyer area which may block access to the lift or result in people queuing on the street.
  • The sign on the eastern elevation of the building must not be illuminated to remove any potential impacts on the adjoining hotel.

The council's requirements for disabled access include "four of the six cinemas must have wheelchair seat allocations located off the crossover level as patrons enter up the ramp to offer a more comfortable and equitable cinematic experience".

"The remaining two small auditoriums are to have wheelchair seats in the front row."

Submissions on the DA were very positive.

One resident wrote: "I live directly opposite the cinema and close to street level. I've never had any issue with noise, signage or any other problems from the cinema or its patrons. I welcome the investment/upgrade of the cinema and am happy with any measures, including extended trading hours that help it stay viable."

Another submission read: "I am so grateful that Hoyts are going to continue opening the cinema. One suggestion is that the external signage (HOYTS) is made more suitable for the age (1926 build) and beauty of this building."