City cinemas slow to screen Oscar contenders

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013
tdn cinema stand
ROBERT CHARLES
Diane Bellamy was annoyed to hear that certain Hollywood blockbusters were not coming to New Plymouth Event Cinemas.

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New Plymouth moviegoers will have to wait weeks longer than the rest of New Zealand to watch some of 2013's biggest films.

Too many films and a lack of movie theatres have caused a bottleneck of blockbusters at the city's Event Cinemas.

New Plymouth movie buff Diane Bellamy is annoyed she won't get to see some of the major Oscar-nominated films before the Academy Awards on February 25 (NZ time).

Mrs Bellamy, 62, contacted the Taranaki Daily News this week frustrated new releases were not screening at the same time as bigger centres.

For example, Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Lincoln won't be arriving in New Plymouth for at least two weeks.

Lincoln is tipped to take out best picture at the Academy Awards in two weeks' time and the trailer for it was already showing at Event Cinemas.

"It's one we want to see," Mrs Bellamy said.

"We've had the taster, now we want to see it more."

Silver Linings Playbook, Anna Karenina and Zero Dark Thirty are three other Oscar-nominated films that will not screen in New Plymouth for a few weeks yet.

Event Cinemas general manager Carmen Switzer said with New Plymouth having only five theatres a bottleneck situation occasionally arose when many movies were released.

"Most weeks of the year we can manage but we do get particular periods where there's a lot of releases all together," Mrs Switzer said.

Bigger centres with Event Cinemas complexes had eight to 10 screens to choose from, so there were no problems fitting in new release screenings, she said. "When you get to the smaller locations you have to make choices."

Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook were two priority films that the company was trying to get into New Plymouth within the next few weeks, she said.

It was a matter of when, not if, the films were screened, she said.

"You can't fit eight films into a five-screen complex in one week."

It was a difficult task deciding when to screen certain films, she said.

"It's just a matter of the programmers finding a window where they can make room for these films to come through."

New Plymouth was still showing the top four films in New Zealand, which were Mt Zion at No 1 followed by Django Unchained, Les Miserables and Hansel and Gretel.

The Daily News was unable to speak to anybody from Hawera Cinema 2 yesterday.

Embassy Whanganui was showing Anna Karenina but not Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook or Zero Dark Thirty.

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Palmerston North's Downtown Cinemas and Nelson's State Cinemas are screening all the latest new releases, including Lincoln.

- Taranaki Daily News

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