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A Five-Screen Cinema Is Opening Inside Red Hill's Old Skate Arena This Weekend

The graffiti-covered spot reopens 17 years after being gutted by a fire — with five days of $10 tickets.
By Sarah Ward
November 27, 2019
By Sarah Ward
November 27, 2019

After bringing New Farm's old Brunswick Street movie theatre back to life, then turning the Irish Club in Elizabeth Street into a CBD picture palace, Five Star Cinemas is launching its latest venture: a five-screen venue inside Red Hill's old Skate Arena.

First announced in late 2017 and finally coming to fruition despite legal challenges, Red Hill Cinemas will welcome movie-loving patrons from Saturday, November 30. When it swings open its doors, it'll fall just under a month shy of 17 years since the building's former guise met a fiery end, with the roller-skating rink gutted by fire on Boxing Day in 2002.

In the almost two decades since that blaze, the empty Enoggera Terrace site has become home to a host of multi-coloured street art by figures such as Sofles and Drapl — and, in revamping and restoring the structure, Five Star Cinema owners Peter and Stephen Sourris have retained the graffiti-covered walls as an eye-catching feature. They're also nodding to the past in a different way, with the location initially operating as a cinema from the 1920s–60s, before being turned into a teen music venue and then, for nearly 40 years from 1965, becoming the beloved Skate Arena.

Brisbane cinephiles can expect other winks to history throughout the site, too, such as a plant stand made out of an old ladder that once went up to the projection booth, canvas foyer chairs sourced from a cinema in Gayndah, and walls filled with cinema items and artefacts from the family's collection — as the Sourris brothers have done at both New Farm Cinemas and The Elizabeth Picture Theatre. Sadly, an originally mooted bowling alley isn't part of the final venue, but Red Hill Cinemas' timber flooring has been recycled from a bowling alley's lanes, while the lower area of the building boasts a ceiling made up of wood from the old Skate Arena that survived the fire.

Naturally, the location's history looms large over the new cinemas, but it isn't the main attraction. Film-goers can grab a seat in the main 160-seat cinema, or pick from one of four 70-seat 'gold room' screens, which all feature leather recliners.

Red Hill Cinemas will launch with a lineup that includes Last Christmas, The Irishman, Marriage Story, Knives Out, Ford v Ferrari and Frozen II, and will offer movie-goers $10 tickets to all sessions from Saturday, November 30–Wednesday, December 4.

Find Red Hill Cinemas at 14 Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill from Saturday, November 30. 

Published on November 27, 2019 by Sarah Ward
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