Cinema in South Australia – Lobethal

In recent travels to see my daughter and her family, we have been lucky enough to stumble across this very fifties style cinema in the Adelaide Hills, Australia.   Films are shown about every two weeks – usually up to date releases but it is the cinema itself and it’s style that influences me to post this item.

Upstairs is the seating area – as the picture below -  and it is very reminiscent of the old style cinema experience – very quaint and very good.    They also have a  wide screen if needed so the older Cinemascope films could easily be viewed here.

Patrons are seated on comfortable seats ( some double seats)  in an art décor hall with the novelty of an interval in the middle of the movie. A canteen is available. Patrons will find a quaint ticket box from where to purchase their tickets.

The art deco Lobethal Centennial Hall foundation stone was laid on 8 August in 1936 on the centenary of the proclamation of the state of South Australia. It took another 60 years before the hall was finished with store room, two large change rooms with heating, two showers and extra toilets in 2002. The terrazzo floor at the front of the hall was the first of its kind in South Australia.

Initially, local people assisted in the furnishing by buying double seats for ₤1 with a name plate on the seat acknowledging their contribution. You can still find the name plates on the seats. The Onkaparinga Woollen Mill donated the money to the Centennial Hall committee to help build the toilets inside the hall, and renovate the original seating. The seat upholstery was replaced with lush fabric by a local upholsterer and the backs of the seats were revarnished.

Black and white silent movies were first shown in the Hall from 1919 and in 1932 the Talkies came to town.     There is still evidence of shops that were once in the front of Centennial Hall until 1993.

There was a lull in movie showing in the early 1990s but now the cinema is functioning well and regularly.    I saw up-to-date films such as Johnny English and Red Dog over there although I am not aware that they have any ‘nostalgia nights’ showing,  for example, some of the fifties films. There is usually a full cinema programme with very intersting local advertisements and trailers to forthcoming attractions. All in all a good evening’s entertainment and highly recommended.

Awaiting the film.

The film will start shortly - below.

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