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The Stage is Set

As far as iconic Top End institutions go, they don’t get much more recognisable than the Deckchair Cinema. Surprisingly, the Dry season destination has been a hive of activity during its closure over the Wet. You may be surprised by what’s new next time you visit.

By Kate Conway

The team is constantly upgrading technology to enhance the cinematic experience, but for Deckchair Cinema General Manager James Parker, it’s the new stage complete with pointed stone stairs that steals the show.

“We’ve got this beautiful new stage put in and it has virtually transformed the cinema,” he says.

“It was a significant investment for the Film Society but we have so many events at the cinema – between the fundraisers, different people renting the cinema or doing different events – it is quite a cool thing to invest in.”

So what else has the Deckie got in store for us this year?

Francophiles are in for a treat as the Alliance Française French Film Festival lights up the screen, celebrating the best of French cinema. A feast for all senses, screenings are accompanied by French wine and authentic food from guest caterers De La Plage. Ooh la la!

During Reconciliation Week, documentary maker and video journalist Bill Code is in town to present his debut film, Lake of Scars. Featuring spectacular aerial footage of the film’s regional Victorian location shot on drones, it’s a unique perspective not to be missed.

Something for the film buffs among us is One Second by China’s Zhang Yimou. After being tipped to win the Golden Bear at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, it was pulled at the last minute due to technical difficulties. Widely suspected to be a code word for censorship, it’s a film the Deckie has been looking forward to screening for a long time, and is James’ personal pick from Program One.

While there have been plenty of upgrades to the cinema, he assures us the friendly, Territory service remains the same.

“It’s just such a lovely bunch of people that are involved in the cinema, it’s a real pleasure to deal with everyone – from the customers and staff, to the committee and the volunteers. It’s very nice that we’re open and getting to see everyone again.”

So head on down to the Deckchair this Dry. They’ve been waiting for you.


Thumbnail, header & inset: Photo: Nicholas Gouldhurst

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