Tan recliner seats and green theatre curtains will be the colour scheme for Corowa’s new 58-seat luxury cinema, with the designers saying they wanted the look to be unique to the Corowa Golf Club.
About 70 residents filled the golf club auditorium on September 20 for an information night and a chance to view the plans presented by Regional Design Service’s Aaron Nicholls and Phillip Nielsen.
The Sanger Street design business also includes Regina Kaluzny, with all three working on the design concept since April.
“We are taking a step away from what we all know cinemas are – the bright red curtains and black seats which is quite a standard,” Mr Nielsen told the crowd at the meeting.
“We wanted to think about what is Corowa Golf Club and what should a cinema for the Corowa Golf Club be?
“So, we were looking at the greens and the natural colours because green makes you feel calm and then you are prepared to watch a movie.
“These are things we tried to consider while we also wanted to make it feel like a club and it should feel great to be a member here.”
Fellow designer Mr Nicholls elaborated on the colour scheme.
“You drive through a lot of trees and grass, just beautiful landscape to get here,” he said.
“This is why we have gone down the road of not doing red and have chosen green for the velvet curtain and tan for the seats because you have the instant reference to trees, grass and riverbank and so on.”
Construction has already started on the project that will be known as Federation Cinema and will be established in a section of the club’s auditorium, with the remaining half to be transformed into a function room.
The club’s disability toilet has been knocked through and is ready to be tiled, while work has also started on the candy bar which is an extension of the existing bar.
Green carpet has also been ordered.
It is hoped the work will be completed by mid-December.
More than 12 months’ of planning has occurred behind the scenes to get the project off the ground.
Golf Club General Manager Daniel Peacock said there was a lot of community excitement judging by the turn out at the information night.
“At the end of the day this is a golf club and always will be but we had to look at how to keep the club viable,” he told those at the information night.
“Whatever business you are in, you always need to diversify to make sure the income streams are there.
“To keep the club viable we need community involvement and revenue, so this idea came about last year and here we are now.”
Mr Peacock said the project had been considered carefully and had financial support from council’s Stronger Communities Fund, which the club was thankful for.
“We have had some great assistance to guide us from people in the industry, so this has been analysed and carefully considered,” he said.
Mr Peacock said at the end of the day the club needed to be viable because the benefit to the community was enormous.
“Having an attraction like this in the town can bring tourism to the area and increased stays that benefit the entire local economy,” he said.
Mr Peacock said there was still a lot of work to do and some finer details to sort out, including ticket prices, but work was progressing.
How the cinema will operate
ClubMovie, which operates under Digital Cinema Network, will essentially run the cinema from an office in Melbourne.
ClubMovie’s managing director Martin Gardiner made a presentation to the community during the cinema information night.
“Our job is to create a micro cinema, a small cinema that will often be a more up-market or community-focused cinema in clubs and RSL’s,” he told the crowd.
“We have a number of these venues across the country and we are growing that number and we essentially manage them from our office in Melbourne.
“Rather than you having to have the infrastructure that every cinema has, there’s a single version of that infrastructure in Melbourne and then we use the internet and technology to transmit that out to this venue here.
“We can schedule the movies, program everything and do the entire backend infrastructure that would normally require a staff member and that’s one of the ways we keep the price down.
“We manage the equipment, provide the installation and the automation that makes it run by itself, the lights go down, the lights go up so that kind of thing.
“We also organise the negotiation of the films and program and schedule those films.”
Mr Gardiner said ClubMovie was working alongside the designers to create a great theatre experience for visitors to the club.
“We are working with the designers here tonight and the object of this project is to provide a reason for people to visit the venue and increase the number of visitors,” he said.
“We bring current releases to venues and it works particularly well in regional towns and the reason for that is that most regional towns are struggling to justify having a (stand-alone) cinema open because of the overhead costs.”
Mr Gardiner said there would be opportunities for events that suited the community.
“Things like Forbes RSL, for instance, like to run the State of Origin matches, so we turn off the movies and turn on the State Origin for those nights,” he said.
“It’s a case of the club benefiting the community and the community supporting the club, so it benefits all parties.
“In the past we have discovered that it is the family films that have been the most popular at venues and those films have brought in a lot of new members.
“Forbes RSL has experienced a 25 per cent growth in membership within 12 months and the important part of that growth was in young families and kids.”
Mr Gardiner said the cinema was also about creating memories.
“The cinema will help create first experiences of visiting a cinema for some young people and we want these experiences to be associated with the club so that when the kid grows up, they stay associated with the club, perhaps come and play golf here but also get involved in the social life of the community,” he said.
“The Dressmaker was the biggest success that we had at Forbes and the general manager reckons some ladies saw it three, four or even five times … it was a social catch-up for some ladies.
“That’s what the cinema is about, it’s not just about watching a film and getting money from you, it’s about giving you a social environment.”
Mr Gardiner said ClubMovie would negotiate films with distributors and schedule when they would show in Corowa.
There will be digital signs promoting films, cutting out the need for staff costs.
“Our big thing is keeping staff costs to virtually zero,” Mr Gardiner said.