WHILE the future of the Kookaburra Outdoor Cinema remains up in the air, its owner Peter Foyster says he can’t believe the outpouring of support he’s received.
The hills cinema, located on Allen Road in Mundaring, was hit hard by last month’s storm, as reported in Kookaburra Cinema future uncertain after storm.
Mr Foyster said he began receiving vocal support and offers to help almost immediately after the storm, but had to wait until the damage was fully assessed before he could accept.
On Tuesday, February 6, he posted a callout to the businesses’ Facebook page asking for anyone who could volunteer their time or services to reach out.
The provisional insurance assessment had provided a quote for repairs that considerably exceeded the amount the cinema is insured for.
“Just the screen and the scaffolding required for repairs was quoted at around $36,000. Originally, we’d estimated to repair the screen for $20,000 and even then, we were hoping to get it done for less,” Mr Foyster said.
In less than 24 hours the FaceBook post had accumulated more than 150 reactions, 100 comments, and 120 shares.
Mr Foyster said he was surprised at the overwhelming support the cinema had received in such a short period of time.
“I want them to know that I’m really very touched by their words and their offers, and it certainly has changed my mind because I can see how much it’s valued,” he said.
“Any thoughts of maybe just walking away have all but disappeared because I owe it to the community to get it back up and running.”
But his main concern is safety. The focus is to repair the structural supports of the screen first, as the central weight bearing strut was torn from the back of the screen during the storm, the lack of which increases the risk of danger.
“I need to be clear that I can’t have people just coming in because of the safety issues, it could still be dangerous,” he said.
Mr Foyster, 75, had originally intended for this to be his last season as the proprietor of the hill’s theatre.
“All the hard work and maintenance is just too much for me, I don’t really have much choice but to retire from it, but before I do I need to ensure that I find it a good owner.”
However, he added, he would like to stay on in some capacity to help with the transition of any new owner.