Cinema rolls final credits
BYRON Bay's Dendy cinema will close its doors on October 24, leaving movie goers without a main cinema and 19 local residents without a job.
Dendy national operations manager Nick Hayes said the cinema has been financially unviable for the past five or so years and rent increases had put the cinema out of business.
"Our rent deal meant it was no longer viable. The current lease has now expired," he said.
Mr Hayes said the cinema was well patronised.
"For a three-screen coastal cinema the Byron Bay Dendy has performed well.
"We have explored every option to keep the doors open, and have been in discussion with the landlord for two years looking at options, " he said.
Byron United president Paul Waters said rents at Byron Bay were coming back down and landlords needed to meet the market.
"The market isn't as buoyant as it was a few years ago and businesses aren't able to pay high rents," he said.
"I think landlords need to be realistic and meet the market.
"It would be better to get a smaller return and keep a good tenant in the building. It's a cinema and it can't be used for much else."
Dendy Byron Bay manager, Glenys Campbell, says the cinema's closure would limit the options of movie-going locals and tourists to the area.
"People will come into town and ask 'where's the cinema?'. A lot of people will go to Ballina or Tweed, but really it's terrible for the town."
Ms Campbell, whose first job at the cinema was behind the candy bar, said she was upset about the loss of jobs for the cinema's staff.
Rose Fox, the cinema's events and publicity manager, said the cinema had played a vital role in the town's cultural life and the breadth of its films has ensured its appealed to all sectors of the community.
Mr Waters said he was confident the site would eventually be put to good to use.
"Byron Bay is the heart of an incredibly creative community and it's impossible to imagine the site will stay empty for long," Mr Waters said.