Palaces of Dreams overwhelmed by reality

Cinemas are vital parts of community life in regional areas with their own responses to the fires.

Right now, the last thing rural cinema owners want to do is talk to a nosey journalist. Fortunately Independent Cinemas Australia (ICA), the umbrella group for the indy picture houses, has been collecting information and President Scott Seddon has been assessing the detailed impact.

We know that the Mallacoota Cinema became a refuge, while the Sun Cinema Bairnsdale was transformed into an evacuation centre. No cinemas were burnt down but some owners lost their houses. The power went out, the candy bars stopped working and choc tops were given out for free as they melted. 

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.