Curtains close forever at Cinema City

I remember when it was all shiny and new. There were mirrored walls and thick red carpet everywhere.

There was a big opening ceremony, televised by Channel 7, which included a street parade with a giant float featuring King Kong. It was unlike anything Perth had ever seen … but that was 27 years ago.

Cinema City opened in the heart of Perth in November 1980 and it was a very big deal. Imagine having four cinemas all in the one complex. Not so huge compared to today’s suburban cinema multiplexes around Perth with over a dozen cinemas in each location but it was very innovative and very luxurious at the time.

I remember going with some friends to see The Blues Brothers there for the first time shortly after Cinema City opened. It was their choice of film and I really wasn’t expecting much. That was a Saturday night and I loved the movie so much I took some other friends the following Saturday night. Since then I’ve seen that movie about twenty times. I was a fan well before the movie became the cult classic that it is today. I can quote most of the dialogue if you really want me to.

The Blues Brothers was one of four movies that were screening in the opening days of Cinema City. They were also showing The Black Stallion, Rough Cut and Flying High.

Back in those days people would travel from all over the metro area to see movies in the city. I saw many adventures come to life on the big screens at Cinema City over the years.

Yesterday Cinema City closed it’s doors for the final time.

I’m just trying to remember the last film we saw there. It was some months back now and I do remember that it was a family movie. I wondered whether this might be the last time that our family would walk the impressive stairs from the foyer to the cinema. I noticed that the rich, luxurious carpet was wearing thin. The complex had been heading towards closure for a long time and so there’d been no use replacing the floor coverings. The seats were worn and the cinemas were looking a little tired but that’s what you’d expect from a venue that had been entertaining thousands of people for so long.

In the coming months the building will make way for a 29 storey tower of apartments and offices.

I’m sure that the new building will be a place that will meet the many needs of the people who’ll use it in the coming years. It’s sad to see Cinema City breathe its last but I’ve still got plenty of good memories.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • Makes me think of the movie theaters that were around when I was growing up. One was in a shopping center near my house. That was torn down when they redid the shopping center. That was probably 10 years ago. The “new” movie theater in that store front is closed due to sinkhole damage.

    The other theater that we frequented when I was young closed and then became a church.

    Oh, yeah, the “new” theater that opened on the other side of town when I was in high school is also closed now. They turned it into a “mini-mall” but that is closed too. The building is now on the market.

    Now, the theater in town has 16 screens, more than the other three theaters combined. Isn’t progress a wonderful thing?

  • My whole family loves the Blue Brothers movie. We have all their CD’s and listen to them on a regular basis.

    As far as movie theaters are concerned,the one I grew up with has long been dismantled and the whole building is now used for “senior citizens” small rentals.

    But in my young days, it was my tuesday and saturday night outings.


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