Save Sawtell Cinema

By Sawtell Cinema

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This Community is AMAZING!

Thanks to an incredible outpouring of community support the Sawtell Cinema is now set to open in December 2015. Thank you!!

Over 500 people donated $142,581 to help save our beloved movie house. That's enough money to buy all new seating for two cinemas and two high quality screens with frames and side curtains - so we are guaranteed a comfortable, high quality experience.

We can't thank all of you enough for your generosity, love and support.

To stay up to date please check out our website and Facebook page.

Let's Reach for $125,000!

In just 4 short weeks this campaign has raised the initial $75,000 target. That means we have secured all new seats for the Sawtell Cinema. Thank you!

Let's not stop there? An extra $50,000 raised will fund high quality new screens in both cinemas – including the screens, frames and side curtains. The screen is the heart of the cinema experience – it's what separates cinema from television. Let's make sure our experience is a good one!

Please get on board – and engrave your name in Sawtell Cinema history.

About the Cinema

Seventy Four years ago, Doris and Alan Brissett purchased the Community Hall on Sawtell's First Avenue, added some wooden tiered seating and a projection room and the Sawtell Cinema was born. For three generations the Sawtell Cinema remained in the Brissett Family.

The cinema has faced many disasters. When the original building was destroyed by a mini-cyclone in 1955, and when floods damaged the cinema in 1989 and again in 2009, the community stepped forward to support their local icon.

It was the cost to change over to digital projection technology that eventually forced the closure of this much loved local treasure. The Brissett family put the cinema on the market in March 2012. When no buyer came forward, the cinema was closed in December 2012.

For two years Sawtell Cinema has patiently waited for the community to show their support yet again.

The Plan to Save the Cinema

A group of local patrons, who share your passion for this wonderful cinema, have stepped forward to purchase the original building. Council has approved plans for the renovation of the Cinema, including an upgrade to a digital projection system and the division of the cinema into two separate theatres. (Oh yes, and the toilets are going to be on the inside of the building so you won't have to get wet on rainy nights!)

The Cinema is being designed to retain its quaint, historic feel. A heritage report has been commissioned, the original structure is to be retained and the décor will be in a 1940's style. Our little cinema will retain its heritage, but include all the features you would expect in a 21st century cinema.

It's exciting. But it's also expensive and your help is needed to get those cinema doors open again.

How can I help?
Invest in the NEW Sawtell Cinema Seats

If you've watched a film at the Sawtell Cinema you may remember that the seats were a bit on the uncomfortable side toward the end. (Well OK, they could be downright painful after a 2-hour screening.)

So obviously, if the cinema is to be renovated, the seats need to be replaced. But it turns out that cinema seats are pretty pricey! This is where you come in.

Help us to reach our new target of $125,000 which will fund the purchase of seats and screens in both cinemas. Your generosity won't go unrewarded when you invest in this little piece of Sawtell history.

How can I engrave my name in Sawtell Cinema history?

Glad you asked! We are offering a number of rewards for supporters. The most enduring is the opportunity to get your name (or the name of someone you love) engraved on one of the new Sawtell Cinema seats. Fancy taking friends and family to munch on their choc tops in your cinema seat?

This is a project for the entire community. So, if your budget doesn't stretch to buying a seat, you can join the "I Saved Sawtell Cinema" fraternity for as little as $25.

Here are the rewards....

$25 "I Saved Sawtell Cinema" Bumper Sticker & Choc Top

Tell the world how you helped save an iconic, heritage cinema by displaying the "I Saved Sawtell Cinema" bumper sticker on the back of your car (or wherever else you think appropriate). Then enjoy a hand made choc top on your first visit to the newly reopened Sawtell Cinema.

$75 "I Saved Sawtell Cinema" T-shirt, Bumper Sticker & Choc Top

Saving cinemas is in fashion – and so is the "I Saved Sawtell Cinema" T-shirt. Wear it with pride, knowing you look great, and you've done a great thing for the community. You will also get a bumper sticker and your first choc top in the new Sawtell Cinema will be on us. Can't you taste it already?

$150 – Exclusive Movie Night with David Stratton (for 2)

David Stratton, former co-host of The Movie Show and At the Movies, is one of Australia's most highly regarded film critics. And he's coming to Sawtell to celebrate the reopening of our cinema. Join David on Saturday 20 February 2016 for a special screening.

$1000 Dinner and a Movie with David Stratton (for 2)
This is a once only opportunity to join David Stratton at a special movie evening at Sawtell Cinema on Saturday 20 February 2016 and then head out for a private dining experience. The dinner will be held at a private home, away from the public's prying eyes. So this is a unique chance to get to know Australia's most celebrated film critic.
You will also be acknowledged on the Honour Board in the Cinema foyer, at the "Cameo" level.

$500 Engrave Your Name on a Seat in the "Big" Cinema
Here's a historic opportunity. Engrave your name (or the name of someone you love) on one of the seats in Sawtell Cinema "big" cinema. Next time a great movie opens in Sawtell you could be watching from your very own seat!
You will also be acknowledged on the Honour Board in the Cinema foyer, at the "Producer" level.

$750 Engrave Your Name on a Seat in the "Boutique" Cinema

Here's a slightly more exclusive piece of history: your name on one of only 49 seats in the new "boutique" cinema. The name on the seat is up to you. Honour someone you love, remember someone you hope never to forget or even get a bit of exposure for your small business.
You will also be acknowledged on the Honour Board in the Cinema foyer, at the "Executive Producer" level.

$2500 Your Silhouette on the "Wall of Fame"
The new cinema décor will include a series of famous silhouettes in the hallway leading to the two Cinemas. Your silhouette will be professionally created and included on the Wall of Fame. Give yourself a wink whenever you go to the movies! Or maybe have a friend, child or lover etched into a community icon.
A name plaque will be displayed beside the silhouette. You will also be acknowledged on the Honour Board in the Cinema foyer at the "Director" level.

$5,000 Private Screening for 40 of Your Closest Friends
Looking for a way to celebrate a special birthday, wow your customers or just share a special evening with friends? For one evening you can "own" Sawtell's smaller, boutique cinema. Work with programmers to select the film and choose the date, then send out the invitations. We'll throw in a soft drink, beer, wine or champagne and some nibblies for each guest. Oh yes, and choc tops all round!
You will also be acknowledged on the Honour Board in the Cinema foyer at the "A-lister" level.

If you simply wish to donate and don't want to bother with the rewards, just use the donate button… with our huge thanks!

Don't have a credit card or PayPal account but still want to donate?

Rewards can be purchased from the Sawtell Post Office, 2/45-49 First Avenue, Sawtell. Alternatively you can email for more information.

Find out more about us

FACEBOOK: savesawtellcinema

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Team Members

Stephanie Ney