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COVID continues to impact Silver City cinema

Saturday, 17th April, 2021

By Emily McInerney

With uncertainty in the film industry, the Silver City Cinema may be shutting its doors.
The Silver City Cinema’s Ashton Wren addresed rumours that had been circulating in the city that they will close at the end of the month.
He said while that they won’t be shutting shop completely, they may have to look at closing down for a time.
“We’re not getting any films, all releases have been pushed back, so we may have to shut our doors for a little while.”
During COVID, the cinema did screen old films, but Ashton said it wasn’t lucrative to do it again.
“It’s not worth screening old films,” he said.
“Currently, we have Peter Rabbit and Godzilla screening and they are doing ok.
“But the film companies have said we won’t be getting any movies now until August.”
Ashton said the uncertainty of it all made it really difficult to run a business.
“The film companies could ring up tomorrow and say we have some movies we’re sending out.
“Or they can give you nothing.
“We were supposed to have Top Gun 2 in July but that’s been pushed back to November.”
He said the situation in America with COVID has really impacted the film industry.
“We were supposed to be getting good movies in May but Disney and Paramount have said no, because America haven’t got their act together.
“They’ve also said no kids movies will be released in June or July - so there will be no movies for the kids during the school holidays.
Silver City Cinema is another business that has been affected by the discontinuation of Jobkeeper, with Ashton admitting that the loss of the subsidy made it hard to financially plan.
“It’s not cheap to run a cinema, it’s actually cheaper to close.
“The film companies continue to raise prices.
“I can’t sugar coat it, everyone in my family has other jobs.”
Ashton said they will review what they are doing at the end of the month.
He added that it was disappointing as they’ve just got the Dine and Discover vouchers working.
“We had to wait 10 weeks to get that approved and people really appreciated having somewhere to go to utilise that.”
And despite the difficulties, he was appreciative of the continuing community support.
“They always get around us.
“But it’s just a very hard situation.”
Before COVID, the Silver City Cinema had been looking to undertake a number of renovations to create a modern facility with two theatres and potential for more film screenings.

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