Byron Bay’s Dendy cinema will close on October 24, staff were told on Friday.
Dendy national operations manager Nick Hayes said that it was a difficult decision.
‘Increases in rent and ancillary expenses have made the cinema financially unviable for some time,’ he said.
‘After ten years, the current lease has now expired. We’ve explored every possible option to keep the doors open and continue to operate a cinema in Byron Bay, but these efforts have unfortunately not been successful.’
Events and publicity manager Rose Fox said that it was a sad day for both staff and patrons. ‘We have almost 20 staff here and about a third of those have been here since the cinema opened,’ Ms Fox told Echonetdaily.
Increased rent played part
‘I am deeply disappointed for everyone. Byron is really going to miss the venue, it is a massive loss to the town. We get a lot of families here and this is one of the few places in town where young people can go that doesn’t involve alcohol.’
Ms Fox said the cinema did well in the town and was always busy; despite this, it was in the end a financial decision the close.
‘It is my personal hope that someone sees what a gap this leaves in the town and opens another cinema,’ she said. ‘We just have to keep smiling until we close. After all, this is the entertainment business.
‘Dendy Cinemas would like to thank the staff, many of whom have been working at the cinema since it first opened in November 2002, for their dedication and hard work throughout these years. We would also like to thank the people of Byron Shire and particularly our patrons and Club Dendy members for their support.’