DRAWCARD: Councillor John Collins, Ron and Karen Harris and Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox at the site of the approved Proserpine entertainment complex.
DRAWCARD: Councillor John Collins, Ron and Karen Harris and Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox at the site of the approved Proserpine entertainment complex. Contributed

Cinema complex in motion

A NEW Proserpine entertainment complex in the heart of town is one step closer to fruition with the proposal approved by Whitsunday Regional Council on Wednesday.

HeliTaxi business founder Ron Harris, confirmed plans were underway for a 360-degree cinema, a conventional cinema, a licensed cafe and a ten-pin bowling alley, which will occupy retail space in the Old Faust building.

A five-metre and an eight-metre dome-style cinema and a 50-seat regular cinema have been designed for the ground floor and a six-lane bowling ally and arcade games have been planned for the first floor.

Mr Harris said the entertainment complex would be "good for Proserpine".

"I think it will draw people to Proserpine that are currently from Airlie Beach, particularly on days when it (the weather) is a bit inclement.

"You can come to a facility that has several attractions in one location."

Mayor Andrew Willcox said council was keen to encourage new business ventures in the Whitsundays and was particularly pleased to see this new investment in Proserpine.

"The proposed plans for a cinema and bowling alley will be a real shot in the arm for Proserpine," Cr Willcox said.

"The developer expects to employ up to 10 staff when the complex is up and running.

"This cinema/bowling alley proposal perfectly complements council's $3 million Proserpine Main Street upgrade expected to commence in May."

Cr Willcox said the final design for the Proserpine Main Street upgrade was expected to be presented to council next month.

Mr Harris and wife Karen purchased the building on the corner of Main St and Mill St in March 2018.

Initial plans to have the complex completed by Christmas last year were quashed due to building regulations around putting a firewall between the complex and the Reject Shop and installing disability access.

"Initially we would have been a lot further advanced, but it's a matter of the regulations related to firewalls and disability access," Mr Harris said.

"The building regulations are very challenging but we're working through the documents at the moment."

The application for the complex was approved during an ordinary meeting in Proserpine on Wednesday morning.

Division 3 councillor John Collins said he welcomed the proposal which would offer diverse recreational and employment options for Proserpine residents.

"This new venture will improve liveability for local families and further activate and attract new business to town," he said.

Mr Harris said he hopes the ground floor will be complete by the end of this year.


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