THE prospect of a new cinema complex at Inveresk has been welcomed by Launceston film festival director Owen Tilbury but only if it suits the city's cultural precinct and satisfies film fans' thirst for interesting cinema.
The Launceston City Council is negotiating with Metro Cinemas which wants to develop a cinema complex on a 3440-square-metre parcel of land near the North Esk.
The complex would be worth up to $10 million and would employ 60 people during its nine-month construction, and seven full-time and more than 30 part-time or casual staff when it opens.
The complex would be built next to the University of Tasmania's proposed student accommodation facility.
Launceston City Council acting general manager Rod Sweetnam said the council was still negotiating over the sale of the Inveresk land and it would be inappropriate to comment on any development at this time.
``However, we are hopeful that the council will be in a position to say more in the near future,'' he said.
Mr Tilbury runs the Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival at Inveresk which utilises four cinema spaces on the former industrial site.
He said it would be a missed opportunity if Metro screened the same mainstream films as Launceston's Village Cinema.
``The Village does a good job of meeting the needs of a certain market and it would be foolish for Metro to only do the same thing,'' Mr Tilbury said.
``The demand for independent and arthouse cinema is evidenced by the popularity of the Launceston Film Society but that only partially satisfies demand.
``We would also be reluctant to welcome Metro if its complex doesn't blend with the unique characteristics of Inveresk.''
Mr Tilbury will launch the Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival program on Wednesday.
The festival will run from November 7 to 10.