Moviegoers can now see a flick in a renovated heritage-listed venue in Brisbane's inner suburbs of Red Hill. The newly opened Red Hill Cinemas, located in Enoggera Terrace, bring fresh life to a landmark building with a colourful past and now exciting visual future.
The Red Hill Cinemas are the latest cinema release from the Sourris brothers, Stephen and Peter of Five Star Cinemas who are also responsible for the New Farm Cinemas and the Yatala Drive-in
From Cinema to Skate Arena and back again
The site where the Red Hill Cinema stands was built in 1920 and started life as the Red Hill Picture Pops Theatre. In 1964, it was converted to a sound lounge and live music venue known as Teen City, where bands such as the BeeGees performed. In 1965, it took arguably its most popular and famous transformation to become the Red Hill Skate Arena.
It became the meeting place for teens, where young romances were born and social groups formed, skating skills were perfected (or at least attempted) and the knee (and occasionally egos) were bruised after an unexpected fall.
The local and broader Brisbane community was shocked when flumes of smoke poured from the building on Boxing Day in 2002 and all that was left of the Red Hill Skate Arena were dark, scarred rafters and a burnt shell after it was gutted by fire.
When the Red Hill Skate Arena was no more. The building stood abandoned and in a derelict state for many years but provided a ready-made canvas for street artists to leave their imprint on its charred walls and doors.
Photo courtesy Cinema Treasures
Street Art Meets Movie Art Now after receiving a $10 million upgrade to begin a new life as the Red Hill Cinemas, the renovated building is quite a departure from a shell that was left in ruin for 17 years.
Having once skated at the rink and driven past the burnt-out shell many times, I was keen to see the famous landmark's facelift.
My visit to the Red Hill Cinemas started by parking off Enoggera Terrace and walking a short and easy distance to the entrance. It proved to be a great way to see and appreciate the new and existing artwork, which is a standout feature of the building.
The building stands as a cinematic monument which salutes the famed movie stars who have been captured in paint on the outside of the building. There's the timeless beauty of Audrey Hepburn, the debonaire Humphrey Bogart, the curvaceous Marilyn Monroe and even everyone's favourite squeaky-voiced critter, Mickey Mouse.
The works feature the creations of talented local artists, including "Drapl" – a former Marist College student who is a Brisbane-based artist and has been spray painting for around 18 years. Be sure to look for Drapls' image of a woman from the Waterworks Road end of the building.
If you're looking for something a bit special, pamper yourself in the comfort of the Gold Rooms, which features full food and beverage service, ultra-comfortable seats and luxurious reclining armchairs.
Ticket prices for General Admission and The Star Club are:
Student / Concession / Healthcare
Tuesday (Standard Cinemas) / Mums and Bubs
Seniors (Weekdays before 6pm)
Gold / Royal Rooms
If you decide to go along, it's good to know that there is free parking available in the vacant lot next to the theatre. That certainly makes it easy.
I came away from my visit really happy to have seen the new look theatre and to appreciate what can be achieved with vision and commitment to honour the past and embrace the future.
So if the kids say they are bored these school holidays or you just want to check out a new release film in a heritage-listed theatre, consider heading to the new Red Hill Cinemas. It's worth a look.