October 23, 2020

How Community Support during Covid has helped Mount Vic Flicks

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During a time as unpredictable as Covid-19 has been, we’ve needed movies to help us escape. While we’ve turned to DVDs and streaming services for our viewing, the cinema experience has been closed and missed by film lovers.

After six months of closure, Mount Vic Flicks has reopened their doors.

Mount Vic Flicks is a family-run independent cinema. As the name suggests, the cinema hall is located in the heritage-listed town of Mount Victoria. It was built in 1934 and operated until the late 1950s under the name ‘Mount Victoria Pictures’. 30 years later, Ron and Diane Bayley established ‘Mount Vic Flicks’ and the cinema has remained open since 1986. In 2013, Kirsten Mulholland and Adam Cousins took the reins and have been the proud owners for seven years and counting.

Under the new ownership, the Mount Vic Flicks has gained some well-earned titles. It is regarded as a top independent cinema including being listed as one of Sydney’s quickest cinemas. It received a top honour at the Australian International Movie Convention in 2018 winning best regional cinema in Australia.

The owners of Mount Vic Flicks, Adam Cousins and Kirsten Mulhollan. Credit: Blue Mountains Gazette

Mount Vic Flicks takes pride in showcasing a diverse range of films from Australia and abroad. The cinema enjoys mixing up their films from arthouse to family-friendly movies, including new releases and classics. The cinema also participates in showcasing HD broadcasts of the National Theatre Live and MET Opera series and host various local and international film festivals, special events and fundraisers. Ms Mulholland said the independent films tend to be the most popular among the crowds.

“Our programming leans towards ‘arthouse’, and independent local and international films. Films that have generated a lot of buzz at film festivals generally do well with our crowd. We have a good following of French and Spanish film lovers too,” she said.

“We always like to diversify our program and occasionally throw in a few surprises too that has been getting some traction with curious locals and cult film fans.”

Covid-19 has been a trying time for local businesses and has forced many to alter the way they operate. Mount Vic Flicks is no different. Before closure in March, the cinema implemented allocated and spaced seating, sanitising high touch areas between sessions and encouraging cashless transactions. The cinema is seating guests at half capacity with reservations essential.

It was the first significant break the cinema has ever had. Ms Mulholland said during their seven years, they’ve only had one two-week closure. While it was tough to shut the doors, the break was much appreciated.

“We were able to get on top of a lot of things we’ve been meaning to do for ages around the home and cinema. We’ve been working weekends and every holiday since 2013 so to have them back was unreal, particularly as we have a young family. The first two weeks were a little strange, but we quickly adapted,” Ms Mulholland said.

The interior of Mount Vic Flicks.

Since their reopening two weeks ago, Ms Mulholland said the community support has been overwhelming in the best way.

“Spring is usually our quietest time of the year. We’re only a couple of weeks in from reopening, but so far the numbers have been better than we expected and better than what they’d usually be for this time of the year,” she said.

“I think most people are coming to Mount Vic Flicks to show their support. We are blown away with the amount of support and well wishes we’ve received. We got a round of applause when the ticket box opened for the first session and have been given cards, flowers, wine and bubbly. We feel loved.”

“Community support is absolutely everything! Mount Vic Flicks wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for local support. It’s not a business that can just thrive on tourism. I think these times have made clear how important it is to value your local community – check-in on your neighbours, support local businesses or be engaged with your community in some way,” Ms Mulholland said.

Mount Vic Flicks is open from Wednesday to Sunday. If you’re interested in attending a session, click here to find out more.

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Article by Rowan Stubbs

Managing director and founder of Stubbs and Co, Rowan Stubbs, is well known in the Blue Mountains for his expertise in property. Rowan has over 11 years of experience selling real estate throughout the Blue Mountains, negotiating some of the top sales of tightly held family homes. Rowan has negot…