Bob Mason Explains How to Build and Run a Community Cinema

Tourism Conversations
Tourism Conversations
Bob Mason Explains How to Build and Run a Community Cinema

Bob Mason turned a heritage venue on Lake Macquarie NSW Australia into a much-loved community cinema. It’s certainly not for the money, but Bob says “We’ll be here as long as the public needs us.”

Bob Mason

Lake Cinema Boolaroo (Lake Macquarie) NSW Australia

‘Second run’ cinema

Convert or close – saved for 15 years for an $80k conversion
Used downtime to paint front
Texas Instruments – $80k item got lost in the mail from Texas Instruments
Rotten Tomatoes
Urban Cinefile
They know their audience
Cost of movie is percentage of their gross
Only saving of $35
Second run cinema
Previous model of second run meant that they were like factory seconds, now dgital means all good

Boolaroo War Memorial and Cultural Centre around 1920
Depression was a drop in centre
During war was a soup kitchen and major centre
50s was Garden Grove fancy nightclub – had a sprung dancefoor, 5 piece resident orchestra
Stage is still there behind the screen
(he let us in to see)
They have Hospitality History tours (produc group etc)
Local hall – weddings functions etc.
Took 2 years to transform it
Floor had rotted out, if it rained the power would blow
No carpets no aircon
Money has always been reinvested
Thu 29th
Singin in the Rain and Showboat
Bus of 50 went upstairs to
Poseidon Adventure was full next night opening by the air
Pre-video killed then piracy
Piracy industry controlled by drug dealers
Federal police very active on undercover operators
Lake Macquarie City Council – own the building
And why targeting an older audience is more profitable in cinema

Bob Mason explains how a small veterans’ hall was converted by hand into a cinema
And how a target audience of over 40s ends up being more proftitable in his niche.

Has carried three people out
“We’ll be here for as long as the public needs us.”

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