If anyone knows the ins and outs of the cinema industry, it’s the Sourris brothers. Peter and Stephen Sourris are third-generation cinema owners, whose family established movie institution Yatala Drive-In back in 1974. The duo have endeavoured to keep the movie-going experience alive in Brisbane, refurbishing and reopening the New Farm Cinemas in 2013 before setting their sites on a new inner-city location. After a two-year refurbishment process, the Sourris brothers have opened up the Elizabeth Picture Theatre, which is situated inside Tara House – otherwise known as the Old Irish Club – combining the building’s original heritage architecture with some golden-age cinema charm.
The Elizabeth Picture Theatre is looking to provide a more intimate movie-going experience for customers, boasting five screens and a capacity of 350 patrons total. Past a street-level candy nook and up a flight of stairs, the lush foyer opens up before you. Upon first glance one can see that several elements of the building’s previous life have been retained with the opulent heritage aesthetic of the Tara House adding a regal aspect to the interior. The old ballroom has been kept intact for the largest cinema – the Tara Room – with retractable blinds offering patrons a detailed look a the ceiling’s full elegant curvature. Stained glass fixtures from the Old Irish Club days have also been retained for the candy bar, while vintage posters from classic films are on display throughout the foyer. Three of the five cinemas are dedicated to offering a premium cinema service, boasting full reclining seats as well as food and drinks delivered to your seat. The venue also boasts a bar, full kitchen, private boardroom and an outdoor entertainment area, while plans are in the works to add two more premium cinemas on the ground level in the coming months.
Blockbuster season is approaching and the Elizabeth Picture Theatre is open now. Head to the Stumble Guide for more information.