Narooma Kinema is closed from October 10 until October 21 while structural work is done to the stage area to facilitate live theatre in the 92-year-old School of Arts Hall.
“This is the seventh and final stage of work on the Hall and follows up recommendations made by local theatre groups and former lessee Stephen Walsh 20 years ago,” Narooma School of Arts committee spokesperson Laurelle Pacey said.
“The lack of wing space on the stage has long restricted the Hall’s ability to stage live performances, as has the lack of dressing rooms for performers.
“Our builder Harvey Shears will extend the stage to create usable wing space, and renovate one dressing room and create another, thanks largely to a grant under the NSW Arts Regional Capital program.”
Ms Pacey paid tribute to the team responsible for the $350,000 staged Hall Project, which began four years ago.
“Most are volunteers and largely unseen but without them this work would not have happened – the School of Arts management team and our two design teams,” she said.
“Then our architect ClarkeKeller and Harvey Shears of H & A Builders and his team who have put so much pride and skill into this work.
“And of course the Griffiths who have fed ideas into the process. All work has been done in stages to minimise disruption to their commercial operations.”
The Hall Project protects the building’s fabric, highlights the Hall’s significance as the district’s First World War Memorial, makes it function better as an arts venue, improves access, and provides patrons with improved facilities.
Ms Pacey said minor work would be needed next year to ensure best use of the improved stage, that will also probably require another grant.
The Griffiths lease the Hall from the School of Arts which manages School of Arts property on behalf of the Narooma community.
The committee and Kinema operators John and Janette Griffiths apologise for any inconvenience to cinema patrons.
Ms Pacey said next year the committee would also revisit its plans to enhance the School of Arts precinct further as Narooma’s arts and community hub.