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Byron Shire
May 23, 2024

Fond memories, but is greed taking over Bruns?

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I read Gaye’s obituary (18 Feb) for her mother Norma Keir with affection and interest.

When I saw the For Sale notice on the cinema building recently I wondered what had become of the indomitable owner of the Brunswick Heads picture house because it was said that while she was alive there was no way she was letting anyone else get their hands on her precious theatre.

I am sorry to hear of her passing and many of my old friends remember with affection the Brunswick Heads cinema experience.

But I had a chuckle at her daughter’s description of her mother’s generous disposition, welcoming people to the show.

It is true she did like to see things run smoothly but it was very much on her terms. The most civil and orderly of customers could not escape her severe warnings on etiquette and behaviour while in her cinema.

Not that we minded that much because we were out to enjoy the show, it was individual and unique; best were summer nights, doors open with the perfume of frangipanis wafting under the nostrils, the double deck chair seats great for close friends and sleeping children.

There was usually a break with an opportunity to pop out for a smoke and the pleasure of chatting with friends.

It was a real disappointment when the cinema closed but reading the obituary brings back fond memories, so thank you Norma Keir for sharing your cinema with us all.

Now, for the ‘ides of March’ note in Gaye’s article.

Norma left the Gold Coast because of ‘the all consuming property development’ and when she and her husband settled in Brunswick she was delighted with ‘the similarity between Brunswick Heads and Surfers Paradise as it had been in pre-development day’.

My older surfer friends tell me Surfers Paradise was once just weatherboard houses.

Red lights come on: warning! warning! Are greed and opportunism finally spreading their nasty tentacles around the delicate beauty of Bruns?

Thanks to the Foreshore Protection Group and the Echonetdaily for keeping readers up to date on this potential disaster.

I am sending in a submission and willing to chain myself to a railing!

Imagine our grandchildren telling their children: ‘You wouldn’t believe it now, but when we were little, Nana and Grandad took us to the Kites and Bikes festival, it was great fun, we had a picnic on the grass by the river just there, where that massive highrise is next to the Sheraton, where the caravan park used to be, and where the resort’s marina is there was a little old wooden footbridge that we walked across to watch the kites near the old surf club, which of course now is huge with thousands of pokies.’

Memories are both good and bad. The closure of a family run cinema was maybe inevitable, small towns like Brunswick Heads change, but this North Coast Holiday Parks’ intervention and skulduggery is scary.

Jane Flower, South Golden Beach


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