Blockbuster announcement: Exciting times for centre
A DEVELOPMENT application for an expansion at Caneland Central worth tens of millions is expected to be lodged with Mackay Regional Council within the next week.
The Daily Mercury understands plans have been confirmed, and will include a new cinema to replace the Birch Carroll & Coyle on Gordon St in Mackay city centre.
And although a spokeswoman for LendLease, which manages the shopping centre in Mackay, "couldn't get any details at this stage" and said that it was "just speculation at the moment", one cafe staff member did say many stores were aware but were "staying hush hush".
Other staff members from various stores within the centre said the expansion had long been a rumour, but had never been confirmed.
Mackay shoppers described any possible expansion as a boon for the Mackay economy and a vote of confidence from the Sydney-based multinational, Lendlease.
For Zoe Walker, the added convenience of a cinema in Caneland was a very attractive proposition.
"This is the first I'm hearing about it," she said.
"I don't drive so I come to Canelands quite a lot and my son also loves going to the movies, so it would be much easier if it was all together in Caneland.
"I used to live just south of Melbourne and the majority of the shopping centres have a cinema in them.
"It's great, it gives you the option to cross things off your list while you're here."
Ms Walker described the city centre cinema as a bit outdated, but did note one thing she'll miss if it goes - having much of the cinema to herself.
"Not too many people tend to go to that one, so I don't have to tell my son to keep it quiet the whole way through the movies," she laughed.
Shelagh Davidson said an expansion of Caneland would "be just terrific".
"It's been a rumour for years. It would be great to see it go ahead though," she said.
"Even though there's a lot of people who have left town (after the mining boom), I think enough people would be very interested."
Mates Alan Ikupu and Guy Siznur welcomed an expansion and said it would boost Caneland's presence as an 'unofficial town hall' for Mackay residents.
"With all the parking here and the room, why not? They've got everything else here, so why not a cinema?"
Mr Ikupu was hoping for a few more men's shops --- "how about another BCF?" --- but said any expansion would be positive for Mackay.
"It'd be great news. It'll get the crowd here and hopefully the spot where the old cinema is will be redeveloped," he said.