The Star Theatre was a cinema in Launceston from 1937 until 1969. It is a fine example of late art-deco cinema architecture and we are lucky that it has been preserved.
Our vision is to return The Star to its former glory and reopen it as a cinema.
In addition, we hope it will be a venue for the community of Launceston that can be used for a range of purposes including live music, comedy, conferences and special events.
A bar and cafe will offer fine Tasmanian food and beverages that can be enjoyed before, during or after the movie and we hope to eventually open a microbrewery on site to make our own Star Beer.
The films on offer will be an eclectic mix of old and new, from cult-classics to new independent releases. There will be something for everyone. We also hope to have our own film club and be involved with local film festivals.
We are very excited to be bringing The Star back to life!
Risks and challenges
The Star Theatre restoration won't be without its challenges.
Opened in 1937, the building itself is heritage listed. (In fact, we're pretty fortunate - it's one of the finest examples of art deco cinema left in Australia.) As such, we're bound to run into a few challenges that come with working with any old building - old pipes, dodgy wiring, and disabled access issues, to name a few.
But we've been careful to limit these risks as much as we can. Before purchase, we spoke to numerous consultants, accountants, builders.
We've set ourselves a budget of $600k to complete the build. This consists of loans from banks, friends and a significant personal investment from the three owners.
However, currently it seems to be being spent on all the compliance stuff, and none of the romantic nice-to-have things that you'd associate with an old theatre.
What we really need some money for is bringing the original vibrancy and design back to the Star. Some of the items on our wish list include:
1) Reinstating the art deco window shapes covering the six large auditorium windows. The originals were made from plaster, but we'll have them re-routed from 32mm MDF craft wood. This comes at a cost of about $3k.
2) Restoring the six pointed art-deco light fittings in the main auditorium. Currently, there is one excellent original condition. The others, however, will need to be carefully removed, reworked and reinstalled. Cost about $2k.
3) Repainting the interior of the Star. Retaining similar original interior colours, we would love to freshen up the facility by repainting the entire interior and the exterior facade of the Star building one day. Cost approx $20k.
3) Rebuilding the 'rotating' neon-star which sat atop the front facade. According to newspaper reports when the Star first opened, the projectionist would illuminate the star at 7pm, thus becoming 'the first star in the Launceston sky' every night. Cost roughly $12k.
4) Motorised curtains and masking for the big screen. We would love to bring back the theatrical nature of the theatre, and begin films with masking that matches the aspect ratio of the projected film. Years ago, they did this by hand and a long rope back to the projection booth. Motorised masking comes at a cost of about $8k.
We realise we can't possibly ask for money to do all these things - we'll eventually get there, and invest back into the theatre as we can afford, but we would welcome any donation to give us a financial 'kickstart'.
We thank you so much for your consideration and support.
Andrew, Paul and Ben.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (36 days)