Caloundra Goes to the Movies

Caloundra goes to the Movies is a short documentary film that will explore Caloundra’s cinematic past. While Caloundra, a seaside town located at the southern tip of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is known chiefly for its natural beauty and recreational activities such as surfing, fishing and boating, it has been home to one drive-in theatre and two cinemas, one of which is still in operation today.

For Caloundra, and many other small towns like it, picture theatres played an important role in the community from the 1930s through to the 1980s by providing local residents with entertainment and a social outing. While each of the Caloundra cinemas – the Amusu (Amuse You – later the Strand), the Loch and the Caloundra Drive-in – were modest establishments, certainly when compared to ‘picture palaces’ like the Regent Theatre in Brisbane, they nevertheless served an important purpose in the developing social fabric of this small coastal community.

Caloundra goes to the Movies will be a participatory documentary approximately 10-15 minutes in length. It will feature interviews with a variety of Caloundra locals with connections to each of the cinemas in Caloundra. This could include the cinema owners or managers (or their descendants, if deceased), projectionists and other theatre employees and patrons. Through a conversational approach to shooting these interviews, the documentary aims to establish a personal connection between the interviewees and the audience to replicate the feel of listening to a friend or family member as they recount their memories and experiences of the various Caloundra cinemas. Local history experts will also be consulted and interviewed. Use of archival photographs (and footage if available) will be included as cutaways during interviews to visually support interviewee responses.

While the documentary’s intended audience is Sunshine Coast locals or those who have an interest in local history, its story will appeal to anyone who enjoys going to the movies or has a general interest in the social and cultural life of Australians during the twentieth century.

It is planned that Caloundra goes to the Movies will be screened at the Caloundra Film Festival in September or October 2017. For older viewers, there may be a sense of nostalgia as they recognize movie-going experiences similar to their own and for younger generations, who have known nothing other than cinema megaplexes, it will provide insight into a time where although cinemas were less technologically sophisticated, the event of ‘going to the movies’ was perhaps more socially satisfying.

Caloundra goes to the Movies will be an educational and entertaining documentary that provides viewers with an understanding and appreciation of Caloundra’s bygone picture theatres and their role in shaping a small coastal community.


You can also visit the Facebook page which will hopefully give you more of an idea of how the project is progressing.

If you require any further information or have any questions, please feel free to contact Andrew Best on 0417 638 290.  



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