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Published September 13th 2010
You've probably heard the recent travesty that the historic art house cinema, The Academy Twin in Paddington closed in June. Basically, a suitable agreement couldn't be reached between the cinema and the building's owners. It seemed that the owners weren't keen to undertake the extensive and costly upgrades the cinema needed to keep going. What a pity.
But fortunately, as Palace Cinemas also operate the nearby Chauvel and Palace Verona cinemas, the original intention being that the cinema trio would complement each other, there is a plan. The Verona will now expand its screens from four to seven with the extra showings being similar to that at the Academy Twin. We're in good hands with the Verona, their focus on art house; quality commercial, documentary or edgy independent filmmaking is usually impeccable. The renovation plans for the Verona's expansion will be finalised in the next few weeks.
It's been a gloomy time for Sydney film-lovers with recent multiple cinema losses; we lost the Valhalla in Glebe in 2005 after twenty-five admirable years in the business. For a while there, it also was looking dicey for the Chauvel but it was given a reprieve. Now it's The Twin and I know I didn't see this one coming.
On a practical level, The Verona's idea will definitely help to ease the cinematic loss of the Twin closing. But on an art house experience level, the loss of the historical and one of Sydney's original and most beloved two-screen cinemas, Twin will remain. The Verona's tagline is: share our passion. Indeed, let's share their passion for showing indie/alternate films; films that teach us something about life and tempt our brains into thinking. If it weren't for independent cinemas like Verona, Chauvel, Dendy we might miss out on film gems that the Hollywood conglomerates don't often show.