Events like the Travelling Film Festival could soon be a thing of the past.
Events like the Travelling Film Festival could soon be a thing of the past.

Recent Travelling Film Festival screening may be the last

IT WAS a full house at the Bowraville Theatre for the recent Travelling Film Festival screenings - but in an ominous sign for the theatre and others festival organiser Claudia Santangelo warned that it may be the last.

"The film world is switching to digital," Claudia said as she addressed the capacity crowd, "and Bowraville Theatre needs to update its equipment."

This is the same dilemma facing Sawtell's First Ave Cinema, which has announced its closure on December 31.

Major movie studios like 20th Century Fox are quitting production of all 35mm film and switching to digital, which is cheaper to produce and store, leaving cinemas scrambling to install new digital equipment.

Unlike their fellow cinema, Bowraville Theatre are looking for a way to stay open - which means raising approximately $85,000 to spend on new equipment.

"A large part of the cinema's attraction is new releases," Bowraville Theatre's public officer Lisa Milner said.

"We want to stay relevant."

Considered the cultural hub of the Nambucca Valley, the Second World War-era theatre is part of the story of the area.

Originally opened as a racially segregated business in 1940, the theatre saw controversy in 1965 when the Student Action for Aborigines Survey and Demonstration Bus Tour, or as it became known, the Freedom Ride, visited Bowraville.

Pressure saw the theatre close in that same year.

It wasn't until 2000, 35 years later, that a committee came together to re-establish the theatre as an inclusive centrepiece for Bowraville.

Now more than 10 years later locals are calling for volunteers and suggestions to help keep their community jewel modern and relevant.

"We're looking for ideas for funding," Dr Milner said.

To get in contact, phone 6564 7808 or go to bowravilletheatre.com.au.



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