Council regrettably informs that the Kelly Theatre will temporarily cease operations from Monday 1 November 2021.
Ingham Disability Support Services (IDSS) have operated the theatre for over a decade. Unfortunately, due to changes in industry funding guidelines, IDSS are unable to continue the service.
Mayor Ramon Jayo took the opportunity to thank IDSS for its management of the Theatre and for the tremendous service it provided to our community during its term of operations.
Expressions of Interest for the leasing and management of the Theatre were called by Council and, despite a number of enquiries regarding operations, no submissions to lease the Theatre have been received from the public.
‘Due to the restrictive nature and flexibility of Local Government Awards and the fact that a substantial portion of screening time is outside normal business hours, it is simply not cost effective or logistically possible for Council to undertake operations utilising Council employed staff,’ said Cr Jayo.
‘Council must therefore reconsider operations and determine a possible way forward so as to ensure that the valuable service to the community is continued in the most cost efficient method, bearing in mind costs to the community,’ said Cr Jayo.
Cr Jayo indicated that ‘discussions with film distribution companies and The Screen Guild of Australia to determine a more suitable model for film screenings in rural areas then that which currently applies would be necessary. As one would appreciate, the film industry of recent has suffered significantly due primarily to COVID-19 with limited new releases occurring, decline in patronage and increased competition from film distribution outlets such as Netflix and online screening by film production companies themselves becoming the norm’.
‘Council remains adamant that despite the increased competition that is now occurring in screenings in the film industry, a market still exists for good old fashioned theatre venues and we must find that common ground so as to ensure the service we know continues’ said Cr Jayo. ‘That unfortunately is going to take some time to put together’.
Whilst the Theatre will not operate as a motion picture theatre, Council will honour existing live performance bookings and keep the Theatre open as a live performance space.
The opportunity to tender for the Theatre remains open and Council is very interested in speaking with any person regarding the process and possibility of leasing arrangements. Further information will be released once investigations and discussions as foreshadowed above have taken place.