LOOK: Plans for Yamba cinema upgrade
IT IS a plan 15 years in the making, and this time around Debbie McCredie is confident her vision to upgrade the Yamba Cinema will come to fruition.
Ms McCredie has lodged a development application with Clarence Valley Council to refurbish and expand the cinema building and, if all goes to plan, hopes to be in by Christmas.
The plans include creating a second cinema at the rear of the current cinema, new seats and refurbishment of both cinema areas, and a function area for private parties and fundraisers, as well as showing outdoor cinema in the future.
"The design of the building will still be a beach-style theme. I don't want it to end up looking like a multiplex, it will have a coastal feel to it,” Ms McCredie said.
"The front area we will build right out to the boundary, (and) will have concertina doors with nice open frontage.”
Ms McCredie bought the cinema from her parents in 2004, and previously had plans approved for expansion in 2008 however a few obstacles have held up proceedings since then.
Two weeks after the plans were approved, the site for the temporary cinema Ms McCredie would use during construction was sold, becoming the current McDonald's site.
Also, in the past few years, all cinemas in Australia were forced to convert to digital, with new projector technology costing into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
To top it off, last year a storm damaged the cinema structure. With the projection room being exposed to saltwater and sea air, the projector had to be again replaced.
Ms McCredie said the storm did give her reason to upgrade to the latest laser projectors, another of which will be installed into the proposed new second cinema.
She said the upgrade would slightly reduce the number of overall seats (currently 200) during the cinema's reconfiguration. Despite this, Ms McCredie said it would improve the variety of movies available to be screened at the cinema, and also allow for newer release movies.
"Some new movies have to be guaranteed a certain number of screenings, so with only one screen it limits what we can show - there's only so much time in every day,” she said.
"With another screen, we can show other movies, and show more closer to their release date rather than waiting.
"It also means we can show more arthouse-style movies, and do a lot more festivals.”
Ms McCredie said the plan was put in place to offer more to the public, both visitors and locals, and ensure the longevity of the cinema in Yamba.
"As an independent cinema, the digital changeover closed a lot of small places, so we're doing this to make sure we're still here for the long-term,” she said.
It will be necessary to close the current building for a few months during the construction of the upgraded facility, and Ms McCredie is still looking for a temporary venue.