LET US STAY: Brunswick Picture House owners Brett Haylock and Chris Chen with supporter Guy Kable want the theatre to stay open.
LET US STAY: Brunswick Picture House owners Brett Haylock and Chris Chen with supporter Guy Kable want the theatre to stay open. Samantha Elley

Theatre lives to thrill another day

THERE'S nothing like getting some good news on your birthday.

For co-owner of the Brunswick Picture House, Brett Haylock, the good news was that his beloved theatre will not be forced to close this week.

Byron Council had ordered the theatre shut down because no DA had been submitted and due to complaints from some neighbours dating back to October 2015.

Instead after meeting with newly re-elected mayor Simon Richardson and General Manger Ken Gainger yesterday Mr Haylock will lodge a DA and council will move to expedite a resolution to the matter.

There was huge community outcry when it was first revealed the theatre may have to close, with locals rallying to show support via a social media campaign.

The theatre closure also became an issue in the recent council elections with Mayor Richardson promising to work towards keeping the theatre operating were he re-elected.

"The overwhelming support we received was heard loud and clear at city hall,” said Mr Haylock.

"We have agreed to submit a simple DA, under protest, but our belief is that we have we can operate under existing rights and our legal advice confirmed that.”

"This process is a very expensive and unnecessary distraction from our core business which is to bring film and live shows to our audience with our signature flare.”

Mayor Richardson said council recognised the theatre was a cultural and social asset to the community.

"We are striving to make sure we can give them clarity and security of tenure,” said Cr Richardson.

"Council will seek independent legal advice to test whether their claim of existing rights (as a theatre) are correct.

"They can either proceed or we can then move ahead with the DA application.

"Either way, outstanding matters concerning noise abatement and building and fire regulations will be resolved.”

Both Cr Richardson and Mr Haylock believe the matter will be resolved in around a month.

Meanwhile this weekend's program including Friday Night's Voodoo Review starring Byron's Space Cowboy will go ahead.



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