The Daylesford Community Theatre is looking at alternate ways to operate during the construction of the Hepburn Hub at The Rex, in response to volunteer and community demand.
The theatre committee is exploring the possibility of an outdoor cinema and an alternate screening location in the hope of keeping volunteers engaged and revenue up during the cinema’s closure.
The Rex is now closed to the public for construction of the Hepburn Hub. Daylesford Community Theatre president Gina Lyons said volunteers and community members were already missing the cinema.
“I put up a Facebook post showing a blank spot on my fridge which is where I normally have the cinema program hanging. We’re all missing the cinema,” she said.
Ms Lyons said she hoped the cinema didn’t lose any of its 51 volunteers during its closure.
“We are thinking about ways in which we can maintain the engagement with the volunteers. We don’t want to lose any of them because they are all highly trained and all very important to us. We wouldn’t have a cinema without the volunteers.”
Ms Lyons said the closure also had a financial impact.
“School holidays is where we make our money. The last two Christmas holidays we averaged a net profit of $8600, so it means if February and March are quiet, we have got that profit to cover us until we are into the March school holidays.”
Many are looking forward to the opening of new cinema facilities which will feature improved insulation, lighting and design.
“We are excited by the possibilities of not just having it as a cinema, but we can do other things. For example we have the equipment if people want to interact with gaming for example, or if people want to explore the idea of live streaming from places such as the Wheeler Centre,” Ms Lyons said.
Hepburn Shire CEO Aaron van Egmond said council was unable to confirm a reopening date. “We hope to get the cinema into their new space as soon as possible, but are unable to a confirm date at this stage,” he said.