Tag: Mr Taylor

Boutique cinemas buck the trend, prompting spike in movie attendance

Brisbane 4000

Moviegoers are being treated to the cinematic experience of yesteryear with the resurgence of boutique and arthouse cinemas.

Their niche audiences are part of what is known as the growing “experience economy”.

The latest — Brisbane’s Red Hill Cinemas — opened in late 2019, more than half a century since moviegoers first enjoyed films at Pop’s Picture Theatre in the same building in the 1950s.

Many locals know the facility as the old Red Hill skate rink that had stood dormant for almost two decades after it was gutted by fire in 2002.


The Red Hill Cinemas was once Pops Popular Pictures theatre, shown here in the 1950s. (Supplied: Five Star Cinemas)

The Sourris family, who have owned and operated cinemas in Queensland for three generations, have now transformed the cinema to its former glory.

The original skate floor as well as graffiti was intentionally preserved during the redevelopment.

Stephen Sourris said the rebuild was a no-brainer.

“The building was a cinema originally — it was an open-air cinema in the early 1900s,” Mr Sourris said.


Operator Stephen Sourris said the Red Hill Cinemas rebuild was a no-brainer. (ABC News: Brittney Kleyn)

Another of the family’s ventures was transforming Brisbane’s Irish Club to the Elizabeth Picture Theatre, with all the old trimmings still intact.

“You’ve got to differentiate yourself — we offer more boutique, full reclining seats, full service with the food, alcohol,” Mr Sourris said.


The terrazzo floor was part of the Red Hill building in the 1950s and includes brass seams. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)

Sean Maher, a senior lecturer in film at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), said independent boutique complexes have been growing in popularity steadily since the 1990s.

“The megaplex was a mass cinema experience — the smaller cinemas know their niche audiences and are catering to what’s being discussed as the ‘experience economy’,” Dr Maher said.

“It’s a slight pushback for a new generation who are discovering going out, and a cinema is a staple part of that experience.”

Tara House in 1929, now restored as the Elizabeth Picture Theatre.

Carolle Walls lives near the Red Hill complex and said she appreciated its rich history and intimate experience.

“I’ve lived here for years … looked at the ruins of these buildings and now, this is it — it’s brilliant,” Ms Walls said.

Leo Kaloglou was also attending his second film at the complex in less than a week.

“I just like going to a smaller cinema and the seats are much more comfortable,” Mr Kaloglou said.


Carolle Walls and Leo Kaloglou enjoy a night out at the Red Hill Cinemas. (ABC News: Brittney Kleyn)

‘Complete cinematic experience’

Nearby in Brisbane’s inner-city, the Blue Room Cinebar is enjoying similar success, with sales up 20 per cent for the same period last year.

The idea of offering food, drinks and a “complete cinematic experience” was the brainchild of Blue Room operator David Taylor in the early 2000s.

Mr Taylor said it was a “risky move” at the start, but it had slowly become a booming business.

“Fast-forward 15 years, we’ve got three bars, commercial kitchen and lots of happy customers,” Mr Taylor said.

“We just do things differently and it’s a bit more personal.”


Sales at the Blue Room Cinebar is up 20 per cent for the same period last year. (ABC News: Brittney Kleyn)

Despite the competition of multi-national megaplexes and streaming services, the cinema experience was staying afloat.

Dr Maher said cinema was “incredibly resilient”.

“It’s still a social experience — it gets people together and it gets them going out … it will continue to adapt and recalibrate to people’s interests and their needs,” he said.

The Sourris family own and operate four successful arthouse cinema complexes between Brisbane and the Gold Coast and said the death of the cinema was still a long way off.

Mr Sourris said it was “like a restaurant — people have a kitchen at home but they want to still go out to eat, and I think it’s very similar to a movie”.


People attend a dinner held inside Tara House in 1945, now the Elizabeth Picture Theatre. (Supplied: State Library of Queensland)

Mr Taylor said streaming services and the big business cinemas would continue to co-exist with smaller operations into the future.

“The death of cinema has been predicted for a very long time — TV, the VCR, streaming — and we’re still here,” he said.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

NSW Police refers Angus Taylor investigation to AFP


New South Wales Police has confirmed it referred the investigation relating to Energy Minister Angus Taylor to the Australian Federal Police.

Key points:

  • The NSW Police Financial Crimes Squad was investigating the use of a doctored document in a political attack by Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor on Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore
  • The matter has been referred to the Federal Police, which has jurisdiction over the Australian Capital Territory
  • Mr Taylor has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing

Authorities have been looking into a document containing inflated figures that Mr Taylor’s office used to attack the travel record of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

Mr Taylor has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

A NSW Police spokesperson said: “Following an investigation by the State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad, the matter has been referred to the Australian Federal Police.”

The AFP confirmed it received the referral from New South Wales Police on December 20, 2019, “in relation to the alleged doctoring of a document”.

A spokesperson for Mr Taylor said the minister welcomed the conclusion of the NSW Police investigation.

“This supports his repeated previous statements that neither he, nor any member of his office, altered the document in question,” the spokesperson said.

“Of course [Mr] Taylor will cooperate with the AFP and any enquiries they wish to make, although he fully expects they will conclude that this matter is baseless.”

In October, the Prime Minister’s office told the ABC that Prime Minister Scott Morrison had no intention of referring the case to police following calls from Labor’s Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to have the matter investigated.

That prompted Mr Dreyfus to write to NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller.

NSW Police confirmed it was investigating the matter in November, but at the time, Mr Morrison backed his minister and decided Mr Taylor had not breached ministerial standards.

“I have since spoken with the New South Wales Police Commissioner about the investigation and the nature and substance of their inquiries which he advised me were based only on the allegations referred to by the Shadow Attorney-General,” he said at the time.

In a statement, Mr Taylor’s office said he would co-operate with the AFP but said he “fully” expected the matter would be found to be “baseless”.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said “it is obviously a serious issue”.

“You look at what was said and what are clearly the facts around this document, its creation and it being given to the media — the two things don’t add up,” he said.

“One of the issues here has been a lack of transparency.”

Doctored document saga

Mr Taylor quoted a figure of $15 million in travel costs in a letter to Cr Moore at the end of September, where he argued cutting down on “unnecessary air travel” would provide a “real opportunity for your council to make a meaningful contribution to reducing Australia’s emissions”.

But that figure was based on a doctored City of Sydney Council document.

Mr Taylor has said that neither he nor his staff altered the document, and claimed there is evidence multiple versions existed on the council website.

He sent a letter to Cr Moore apologising “unreservedly” for relying on figures in media commentary without clarifying them.

But he has subsequently declined to elaborate how he came to use the false numbers.

“Look, I’ve been very clear about this — I don’t have anything more to add and I’m not going to be distracted from my job which is to ensure that Australians get the affordable, reliable energy they deserve,” he said in November.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

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