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Howard Smith Wharves' Huge New Openair Cinema Has Been Postponed Due to Coronavirus

Just announced this week, it'll now take place "when current health concerns have passed".
By Sarah Ward
March 14, 2020
By Sarah Ward
March 14, 2020

This week, Brisbane cinephiles received fantastic news, with the announcement of Westpac OpenAir's first-ever Brisbane season. But with the Australian Government announcing a ban of non-essential gatherings of 500 people from Monday, March 16, the outdoor cinema has now postponed its Brissie plans.

"In the interests of community health and playing our part in limiting the transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we believe it's best for everyone if we postpone the soon to be staged Brisbane season of Westpac OpenAir," said organisers Cinerent OpenAir in a statement. "This is in line with the advice of Australia's Chief Medical Officer and Prime Minister to cancel non-essential gatherings of 500-plus people from next week."

Unlike many other events — Paniyiri, the World Science Festival Brisbane and Gold Coast Film Festival locally, plus the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Sydney Royal Easter Show and Tasmania's Dark Mofo further afield, among others — OpenAir is delaying rather than cancelling its 2020 Brisbane event. At present, new dates haven't been set. "We look forward to staging the wonderful event we had planned for Brisbane in the near future when current health concerns have passed," Cinerent OpenAir said.

When it does eventually go ahead, OpenAir will take place on the Howard Smith Wharves precinct lawn — which means a riverside spot and views of the Story Bridge and CBD. And, a huge screen, which is as much an attraction as what it'll be playing, given that it'll measure 170 square metres and reach three storeys high.

OpenAir joins a growing list of cancelled and postponed events and closed venues worldwide, with large swathes of cinemas shutting in China, Iran, South Korea, Japan and across Europe, and theme parks doing the same in Asia, Europe and the US. We've also seen the cancellation of Texan music and film festival South by Southwest and postponement of Coachella, as well as the Brisbane, Gold Coast and Australian events mentioned above.

Westpac OpenAir's debut Brisbane season will no longer take place from Sunday, April 5–Sunday, April 26 at Howard Smith Wharves, 5 Boundary Street, Brisbane City; however it will be postponed at a later date. For further details, visit the cinema website.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Published on March 14, 2020 by Sarah Ward


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