Cineplex Victoria Point celebrates its first decade in the Redlands this month.
Inaugural manager Steve Maggs who is still on site said he was proud to be associated with the cinema which had grown alongside its community.
“We used to get excited if we had 1500 people through the cinema. Now we get up to 6500 people a day in the busy season,” Maggs said.
Maggs said today’s cinema had digital projectors alongisde the now defunct 35mm projectors with technology wiping out the projectionist’s craft since the cinema opened.
“Our projectionists are now the guys who tear your tickets at the door. We program the films once a week and they run themselves. It’s all done digitially. The lights turn to half, the volume goes to 3.6 and the next lot of ads start to run. Everything’s on a USB stick,” he said.
“The old projectors aren’t used. No one wants them but we don’t want to get rid of them. They are part of history,” he said.
This month, Maggs said the banners celebrating Brisbane history have been put back up, to mark the cinema’s history. As the Queensland Convenor of The Cinema and Theatre Historical Society of Australia (CATHS), his role is to record the history of the cinema and theatre buildings and all related areas.
“I have worked in the cinema industry since 1981 and managed cinemas in three states. I can’t help it. I’m a picture show man,” he said.
Two other original staff members remain of the 50-60 staff: Kim Anakabu as the duty manager and Andrew Emmett in the lounge bar.
Maggs said the cinema still boasted Queensland’s largest screen at a width of 25.5 metres, just over the 25 metre screen at Southbank. Each of the eight theatres continued to run five sessions a day.
Maggs said he believed the cinema to be a focus for the local community and a place where people go to relax and share their emotions.
“We get a lot of older people and a lot of lonely people. They will stop me and tell me their life story and whether they liked a movie. Movies inspire this sort of interaction. You cry and you laugh,” he said.
The cinema has also been a place for various functions including preview screenings, midnight screenings and free screenings of State of Origin games.
He said the cinema opened with Wild Hogs 10 years ago with the current popular films being Hidden Figures (PG) and King Kong (M). This school holidays The Boss Baby, Smurfs: The Lost Village, The Lego Batman Movie (all rated G) and Beauty and the Beast (M) will be screening for families.