Palace Electric cinema powerless to open
Artist impression of the cinema's Prosecco Bar. Photo: Supplied
Canberra's new Palace Electric Cinema at New Acton will not open on Boxing Day after all.
The reason is more than a little ironic: lack of a permanent electricity connection.
The cinema chain said it had run out of time to complete the required certification for the permanent power supply to its eight-screen arthouse cinema in the Nishi building.
The opening has now been pushed back to early in the new year, with a late January date likely.
Palace Cinemas national marketing manager Stephanie Zeccola said she expected that Canberra moviegoers would be disappointed, but "there's nothing we can do, it's out of our hands and we are one part of a large development," she said.
"But no-one's to blame and we are sure people will be forgiving."
Palace had been banking on such blockbuster movies as Peter Jackson's The Hobbit and the Hugh Jackman musical Les Miserables to draw big crowds to the Palace Electric on Boxing Day, traditionally the biggest moviegoing day of the year.
Australia's largest independent movie exhibitor with more than 90 screens in 22 locations, Palace has been advertising Palace Electric's planned Boxing Day opening online and in print in recent weeks, and began a radio and TV campaign at the weekend.
Ms Zeccola said the lack of power supply to the Palace Electric premises had meant that no tickets had yet been sold, though some eager Canberrans had already taken out "movie club" membership online.
The $550-million Nishi construction project has been plagued with worksite safety issues in recent months, including a temporary stop-work order by WorkSafe ACT.
A late-January opening means the Palace Electric is likely to open with such films as Keira Knightley's period piece Anna Karenina, military thriller Zero Dark Thirty and Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.
Ms Zeccola said a festival of Italian films was scheduled for the Palace Electric from February 5.
Palace Electric, which takes its name from the Electric Shadows picture theatre that closed in Civic in 2006, will have a licensed bar and cafe.