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Victa Cinema

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by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at
Published February 12th 2016
It's not all about the movie
I'm a rusted-on movie lover and although I appreciate the multitude of movie options and session times offered at the larger cinema chains, I love the atmosphere of my local, the Victa Cinema.

Photo by Karen Ross
Photo by Karen Ross

It first opened as The Victor Theatre in November 1923 and, according to Cinema Treasures, the opening films were 'The Bohemian Girl', starring Gladys Cooper and 'Mord Em'ly', starring Betty Balfour.

Picture from Cinema Treasures
Picture from cinema

In 1928 the building was renovated and seating capacity increased but the building was badly damaged by fire in January 1931. When the theatre finally reopened in December 1934 it was renamed The Ozone Theatre and, what's more, it was all dressed up in an Art Deco style.

A blue plaque at the front of the building draws attention to the Art Deco light fittings, chrome fixtures and the very glamorous terrazzo floor in the foyer.

Victa Cinema Plaque
Victa Cinema Plaque

It's the decor that makes the Victa so appealing to me. I love the plush velvet curtains, the light fittings, the polished timber handrails inside each cinema and the stylised chrome handrails leading up the stairs to Cinema 1. I especially like the sign indicating the Ladies Powder Room. I say 'Ladies Powder Room' in keeping with the ambiance of the era. It seems to fit.

During the 1950's the theatre was owned by Hoyts Theatres Ltd and then sold to private operators in 1970 for the sum of $25,000.

Various renovations took place over the years including a conversion to 'twin cinemas' in 1998. Now, of course, we get to see twice as many movies, but I'm grateful that I saw 'Babe' ( the one about the pig) when the Victa was still one big old fashioned theatre.

The current owners purchased the theatre in February 2005 and are committed to preserving and maintaining the beautiful art deco building, while improving functionality and comfort for patrons. This includes digital projection, reverse-cycle airconditioning and comfy seats.

You can read more stories about the history of this charming theatre on the Victa Cinemas website.

The Victa Cinema
The Victa Cinema

The original ticket office still functions at times, usually at the coffee morning sessions on Wednesdays when the regulars queue for discount movie tickets and free tea or coffee and cakes.

The Ticket Office
The Ticket Office - photo by Karen Ross

My movie experience is never complete without a Choc Top. I'm sure you feel the same. Unless you prefer popcorn. In fact I'd go as far as saying 'it's not all about the movie, it's about sitting in a dark room with a friend, eating a Choc Top (or popcorn)'. Thankfully the Victa Candy Bar stocks both.

Candy Bar
Candy Bar - photo by Karen Ross

Cinema 1
Cinema 1 - photo by Karen Ross
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Why? The Art Deco building. And the Choc Tops.
When: Check website for session times
Phone: 85521325
Where: 37-41 Ocean Street, Victor Harbor
Cost: Discount tickets on Wednesday mornings
Your Comment
You're right Karen, 'it's not all about the movie', it's about the experience. This cinema delivers glamour and 'pampering the patron' along with food and entertainment.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4116) 1375 days ago
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