Majestic Cinemas ink deal to manage new Sawtell Cinema
Majestic Cinemas has struck a deal to manage Sawtell Cinema when it re-opens in december.
The iconic cinema was saved after a community consortirum ot local residents bought the heritage-listed building.
It had been owned and run by the Brisset family since the 1940s – until it was shut down in 2013.
The new owners have owners have also launched a crowdfunding campaign, which has raised more than $75,000.
Movie Critic, David Stratton, was the patron for the campaign.
Sawtell Cinema Chair, Jill Nash, said operating a cinema was a very specialist skil.
“We recognised early on that we needed professional cinema managers with relationships with distributors to ensure that the cinema could deliver the experience we are all expecting.”
She said the challenge was to find these professional skills, without sacrificing the community feel of Sawtell’s small local cinema.
“An extensive search was undertaken to find the right fit, and Majestic Cinemas fit the bill perfectly,” she said.
Majestic Cinemas currently operates five regional cinemas in NSW, including nearby Nambucca Heads.
Majestic Cinemas chief executive, Kieren Dell said company started on the mid-north Coast and that most of the team lived in the area.
“We are just thrilled to be able to bring a high quality cinema experience to this community.”
He said the reopened Sawtell Cinema would focus on quality and art house film, combined with access to major releases and family friendly films during the holiday periods.
He also confirmed Sawtell would not end up showing all the same films as Nambucca Heads.
“Quite the opposite,” Dell said. “With Nambucca’s three screens and two in Sawtell the community can now enjoy the variety made possible with five screens.”
Majestic also plans to run a number of film festivals through the year and will be introducing their Select Series of handpicked, high quality International and Australian films to the Sawtell cinema
The Majestic Movie Club will be opened to Sawtell patrons, entitling members to discounts at all six Majestic cinemas, as well as entry to special members-only events planned locally.
Nash said the community had stood up to save Sawtell Cinema.
“Now that the building itself is underway, we are thrilled and relieved to have found a team with Majestic’s experience and love of film to shepherd our cinema into the future.”