The Beloved Lorne Theatre In Victoria Gets A Revival In Time For Summer

New Lorne Theatre operators: brothers Chris Barton (L) and Bob Barton (R), with incoming venue manager Jessa Shields. Image © Jack Younger
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One of regional Victoria’s oldest and most loved silver screens, Lorne Theatre is set to return next month with a seasoned new team at the helm and an inspired programme of special summer screenings.

Lorne Theatre has recently come under the stewardship of the team behind Sydney’s Golden Age Cinema & Bar and Melbourne’s Rooftop Cinema – Barrie, Bob and Chris Barton. It will reopen next month for a pop-up summer season, ahead of an extensive restoration and refurbishment.

The refurbishment will be unveiled in late 2024, introducing a new, licensed bar, and interior design highlighting the theatre’s Art Deco charms. This will extend to seating, lighting and acoustics, plus snack bar menus, programming, and beyond.

“Our plans for the building are not to reinvent the wheel, but to add some love and polish and restore the Lorne Theatre to its original splendour,” new co-owner Chris Barton says. “We want to accentuate that same charm and sense of grandeur that has captivated visitors for more than 80 years and help ensure the theatre’s future as a truly special cultural experience into the future.”

Lorne Theatre has been family-run since 1937. It’s a 550-seat cinema drawing generations of movie-goers and carving a cherished place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike.

Lorne Theatre generic
Image © Annika Kafcaloudis

Now, thanks to the Barton brothers, the local movie house is ready to deliver a wholly reimagined programme, designed to draw a new generation of cinephiles and culture lovers.

“As a family, some of our fondest summer memories were formed within the walls of the Lorne Theatre,” Chris explains. “It has always been a special place for us and we’re deeply aware of the space this building holds in the hearts of generations of local and visiting movie lovers.”

“This shared personal history with the space is why we jumped at this opportunity. It’s a huge legacy to take on, but it’s one that we’re very excited to uphold and build upon.”

Over the coming months, Lorne Theatre will host a captivating summer line-up, featuring a blend of contemporary and classic films, complemented by special film series’ and live performances, through to Easter.

Lorne Theatre is located at 76-80 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne (Victoria).

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