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Lights, camera, action: Movies to return to Civic Theatre


The magic of cinema has returned to Newcastle with the Civic Theatre welcoming a 7.5-metre-wide movie screen in the iconic main auditorium.

The theatre is set to help fill the gap left by the Tower Cinemas after its closure almost two years ago.

The return of films will also re-activate the CBD, which has experienced major disruption during the pandemic.

The new 7.5 metre x 4.4 metre screen, combined with the Civic Theatre’s state of the art sound system and individually air-conditioned seats, will provide a cinematic experience like no other in the region.

Civic Theatre Manager Leonie Wallace said locals were thrilled to experience something contemporary screened in a venue with such historical links.

“We trialled bringing film back to the Civic Theatre in January with a season screening of a selection of the most acclaimed productions from London’s National Theatre at the Civic Playhouse,” she said.

“It was so popular that film screenings in the Civic Theatre was the next obvious step.

“Our new program features a variety of films that appeal to people of all ages and tastes, such as recent release features, documentaries, theatre productions, and children’s films during the school holidays.”

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes added cinema and theatre have a long history in the CBD and City of Newcastle was pleased to offer both live performance and recent release cinema for the enjoyment of the community.

“After a period where COVID-19 has had such a devastating impact, it’s wonderful [to be] adding regular film screenings to our Civic Theatre program,” she said.

“We can take this positive step in our city’s journey towards recovery, and provide a boost to surrounding local businesses by attracting more people into the Civic precinct.”

The Civic Theatre opened in 1929 and, although designed as a live theatre, it was leased as a cinema for the next 45 years.

The Civic Cinema initiative is part of the Civic’s Beyond the Stage program of cultural offerings outside of the traditional uses of the Civic Theatre and City Hall.

So far, this has included the Civic Bar Beats – Friday evenings of live local music in the Theatre Bar, and lunchtime concerts at City Hall.

Tickets for Civic Cinema are now on sale through the Civic Theatre website.

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