Iconic Kinema changes hands but stays in the family

John and Janette Griffiths have sold their business operating Narooma's iconic Kinema (Memorial Hall) to their granddaughter Jade Griffiths. She took over the business on November 28.

"We're really delighted," Janette Griffiths said. "Jade and her great team are all passionate about the Kinema and it's so good too to see a young person taking on a business in Narooma."

John and Janette are very proud of what they have achieved since buying the business in April 2003 and taking over the lease of the building with the School of Arts (SOA).

"It's been wonderful to be a part of the growth and development of this cinema and this iconic building," Janette said. "The support and friendship from our South Coast community and our staff have been amazing; we are very grateful."

In conjunction with the SOA, the Griffiths and their son Jason (Jade's father) created Cinema 2 in the Hall's old supper room which had been the town library and then briefly an Arts Studio. Cinema 2 opened on November 9, 2008.

In 2010 the Griffiths won Narooma Chamber of Commerce's prestigious Gold Monty Award for being the outstanding local business. They also won a Monty for innovation and a Eurobodalla Business People's Choice Award. Their contributions through the Kinema were also recognised with OAMs earlier this year.

Jade meanwhile is very excited about taking on the business with her company Narooma Kinema Pty Ltd; "It's wonderful to continue Nanna and Pop's and my Dad's legacy."

Jade has taken over John and Janette's lease with SOA's management committee and negotiated a new lease starting December 20.

She intends running the business along similar lines as John and Janette with a mix of current and Art House movies and also making the auditorium (Cinema 1) available for live performances.

Narooma School of Arts president Jenni Bourke "just loves that the Kinema business is still in the family".

"John and Janette have been great mentors for Jade," she said. "I'm confident with Jade at the helm and, thanks to recent work by the School of Arts to enhance the Kinema as a destination and live performance venue, our community-owned Kinema has a bright future.

"It will also be really good to now see John and Janette just relaxing and enjoying movies as part of their retirement."