Following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in NSW, Gunnedah's Civic Cinema has increased capacity allowing more cinema-goers to catch new releases.
The cinema can now host up to 100 patrons at each screening, helping facilitate more group bookings. The easing of restrictions has also improved capacity at the Gunnedah cultural precinct's other venues.
The news comes after the council voted at the December ordinary meeting to limit the number of screenings following reduced attendance in the wake of COVID-19.
Gunnedah Shire Council director of corporate and community services Colin Formann said that following COVID-19, locals had been reluctant to return to the cinema.
"We've experienced a 47 per cent reduction in patronage after reopening in September, but we are hoping the increased capacity will see more locals confident to return to the movies," Mr Formann said.
"It's an important time to support our local cinema, so I encourage the community to escape the summer heat at the Civic over the holidays."
Cultural precinct team leader Lauren Mackley said the increased capacity had come just in time for school holidays.
"We are excited to welcome more people back to the Civic. It's a much-loved community asset for people of all ages enjoy," Ms Mackley said.
"There are some great new releases coming out over the holiday period. Robert De Niro will keep the whole family entertained in The War With Grandpa, while Misbehaviour appeals to older fans of feel-good British cinema.
"Combat Wombat is a charming kid's movie with an Australian twist, and for more Aussie festive spirit check out A Christmas Gift From Bob."
Ms Mackley said the launch of the refreshed cultural precinct website meant online ticket sales was now available.
"We are also excited to offer birthday party packages for up to 30 people," she said.
"Visitors to the cinema will be required to use digital QR codes to check in, and the cultural precinct has a COVID-Safe plan in place."
For online bookings and further information about cultural precinct facilities, visit www.thecivic.com.au