Significant operational changes will occur to the World Theatre from February 2022 to save money for ratepayers and to ensure the World Theatre can continue to provide for the community.
In the October General Meeting of Council, it was resolved to cease regular cinema operations and to instead provide movie screenings during school holidays, fundraising events, or special events.
Mayor Frank Beveridge said the operational changes are about keeping the cinemas open when they’re most often used by the community and saving money when they aren’t.
“The severe impacts from COVID on the film and cinema industries have been devastating. Not just in Australia but worldwide.
“The cinema industry has been under enormous pressure for many years as major film distribution companies have turned to streaming services. As a result, many cinemas in North Queensland have had to close their doors permanently.
“We know the World Theatre is an important facility for our community and we want to ensure the community can still access the cinemas, but not at such a huge cost to ratepayers.
“To do this, we have to change to a more streamlined model of operations. By reducing how often we open the cinemas will allow us to save hundreds of thousands of dollars but still provide movies for families, our young people, and visitors looking for something to do on the school holidays,” said the Mayor.
Once the changes are implemented, the cinema program will become 16 sessions per week during school holidays, rather than the 24 sessions previously offered. The cinema will also no longer screen new release films given the difficulty and costs associated with securing those films.
“We understand the changes will be hard for some, but overall, these changes provide an opportunity to improve the operating position of the Theatre.
“We want the cinemas to be more about the community by offering more fundraising opportunities and expanding the use of cinema for special events offering a unique audience experience.
Operational changes will come into effect on 1 February 2022. Council are working directly with the World Theatre staff to prepare for the changes and discuss opportunities to expand the scope of their work while the cinemas are not in operation.
Source: Charters Towers Regional Council