Dunedin Hobbit fans need to book ahead

The closure of Hoyts' cinema complex means Dunedin Tolkien fans should book if they wish to see the second movie in the Hobbit trilogy at peak times.

Rialto marketing executive Adin Wentzel said he hoped Rialto would be able to meet demand for the Peter Jackson-directed sequel which starts screening on Thursday, but urged people to book tickets online.

''We're hoping by offering over 60 sessions of all three film types [in the first week] that we will be able to meet demand. That said, we'd be surprised if there were not a number of sell-out sessions for the film, especially in the evenings and weekends.

''We advise our customers to book online to ensure that they get a seat to the session they'd like to attend,'' Mr Wentzel said.

Its first screening was 12.01am on Thursday.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug would not affect screenings of other films, as there were ''very few'' other new releases this week.

• Reading Cinemas is continuing to advance its plans to open a cinema at the former Hoyts Octagon site, with its Facebook page saying it will open by the middle of next year.

Reading Entertainment managing director Wayne Smith, of Melbourne, said last month the company, which owned the building, was in no hurry and would take the time needed to develop ''something special''.

''We [have] taken the decision to undertake a more thorough design process and develop up a completely new offer,'' Mr Smith said.

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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