Reading Cinemas Queenstown is literally rolling out the red carpet and opening all three auditoriums at the same time for the first screening of The Hobbit at 12.01am on Wednesday.
VIP tickets at $25 each are being snapped up for the 68-seat heritage cinema upstairs, which include a glass of champagne and canapes in the Ballarat Trading Co next door from 9pm on Tuesday.
Tickets cost the standard $16.20 for adults, $14.70 concession and $10.50 for seniors and children aged 3 to 14 for the 210 seats in cinemas two and three, which will begin presenting the 169-minute epic at the same time.
The cinema in Queenstown Mall will be decorated with a Hobbit theme, including the entrance.
A Middle-earth-decorated Dorothy Brown's Cinema, Arrowtown, begins its Hobbit run on Wednesday in 2-D at 5.30pm and in 3-D at 9pm, followed by two screenings a day.
Tickets cost the usual $18.50 for adults, $12.50 concession and $8 for children aged 13 and under for the 2-D screenings, plus an extra $3 on each ticket for the 3-D screenings.