SCOTTY'S Cinema Centre is planning to create two new movie theatres in a $400,000 expansion.
The cinema lodged a development application (DA) with Port Stephens Council in June to change the vacant gym next door into a cinema.
"We had been looking at expanding for a number of years and the opportunity finally presented itself," owner Scotty Seddon said.
The existing cinema complex opened in December 2008 with three theatres and 448 seats.
The expansion would add two smaller screens to the complex, seating 58 people in one and 52 in the other.
"When I was a kid cinemas only had one screen," he said.
"Now there are more movies and you need more screens, it is almost something we have to do."
Mr Seddon said he will use the two new cinemas to show alternative content, such as the New York Metropolitan Opera, which is already played at the complex, and the Disney Fairies Film Festival.
The two new cinemas will also be available for hire for lectures, conventions and conferences.
If the DA is approved the expansion project will take about 12 months to complete.