The St Arnaud Community Cinema was a major achievement of the State Government funded St. Arnaud Community Capacity Building Initiative that ran for three years 2001-2004.
The need for additional entertainment in St Arnaud was identified through a Community Workshop.
In early 2002 a small committed team of enthusiasts began to meet regularly, in an attempt to ascertain the viability and support for this concept,. It took approximately twelve months of research, planning, negotiations and grant writing to determine that this would be a $120,000 project.
With funds sourced through the Federal Government, Northern Grampians Shire Council and business sponsorship The remaining contributions came from fundraising activities in our local community and project management by a very dedicated community volunteer committee.
The cinema was completed in eighteen months.
It was a steep learning curve for many committee members. We built the chairs from the world’s largest Meccano set – in 100 hours, painted the projection box, learned the intricacies of dealing with film distribution companies and entered the world of interior decorating and public relations.
The volunteer run cinema held its inaugural screening of “Cheaper by the Dozen” to a packed house on 5th March 2004.
Funding in 2005 from the Macpherson Smith Community Alliance enabled a blackout curtaining system to be installed and in 2010 air-conditioning was installed.
The Cinema has proved a great attraction and of considerable social and economic benefit to the district. It has attracted interest from a number of other towns and politicians as a significant opportunity to enhance town life in rural areas.
In March 2012 the Cinema celebrated eight years of operation and the cinema has to date remained self sustaining.
The next stage in its history will be its leap into the digital age and its transformation into a cultural and entertainment centre for the Town of St Arnaud..
Welcome to the World of Digital Cinema in St Arnaud!
In March 2014, the Cinema celebrated ten years of operation as a self-sustaining entity.
A grant totalling $100,00 from the State Government and Northern Grampians Shire Council funded the transition to digital projection, which allows for high quality presentation of current movies.
This has enhanced the Cinema's role as a cultural and entertainment centre for the town of St Arnaud.
The long awaited Digital Technology has been installed and the St Arnaud Community Cinema re-opened to the public on Friday 13th September promising crystal clear sound and stunning picture quality.
The new technology simplifies the screening process and offers extra screening dates – now patrons will be able to choose between Wednesday and Friday screenings.
In addition the cinema will now offer selected movies in 3-D.
The cinema team encourages all residents to experience firsthand this wonderful advance in film screenings in St Arnaud.