Knockback for cinema in Queanbeyan

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IT’S been a long time between movies for Queanbeyanites who enjoy a night out at the flicks and it looks like being even longer, with news that several Queanbeyan councillors last night voted against a proposal put forward by Mayor Tim Overall to enter into a memorandum of understanding with a cinema operator.

The MOU would have paved the way for the development of a new multiplex cinema in Queanbeyan next year.

Last year residents surveyed regarding improvements to Queanbeyan listed a cinema as one of their top four priorities.

The memorandum of understanding would have seen the terms of agreement for the lodgement of a development application finalised, with the formal development application then able to be lodged and put to Council for endorsement.

Cr Overall said there was overwhelming community support for the cinema and said he was disappointed a number of councillors, while expressing support for cinemas in Queanbeyan in principle, had voted against entering into the Memorandum of Understanding with the cinema operator.

The state-of-the art multi-screen complex would have been developed on Council land near at the Old Nursery Site on Morisset Street and across the road from the proposed new CBD river foreshore upgrade.

Queanbeyan had a regular cinema from 1913 when William on Freebody opened the weatherboard Triumph Picture Hall And Skating Rink, later updated with a gallery, balcony, stage, dressing and supper rooms. In 1925 Star Pictures opened in St Gregory’s Hall in Monaro St. Talking movies at the Star closed the Triumph but it resurfaced in a new building that packed them in during the 30s and 40s and 50s but was sold and demolished in 1967.

[Photo by lisa_eglinton, attribution licence]

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