When the Red Hill Skate Arena burnt down in 2002, it reduced decades of Brisbane history to ashes. The venue at 14 Enoggera Terrace had been a destination for fun-loving locals since the 1920s when it opened as Pop’s Picture Palace. The film stalwart ran until the 1960s when it was converted to Teen City, a youth club that hosted iconic local acts like the Bee Gees, becoming Red Hill Skate Arena in 1965 and staying that way until the fire. For a time, Brisbanites mourned the site that had held fond memories but the building soon turned derelict. Throughout the 2000s and 2010s the venue’s shell became a canvas for local Graffiti artists including Fintan Magee, Sofles and Drapl who are now known around the world for their art. In 2017 the Sourris brothers, Stephen and Peter, whose family (of Five Star Cinemas fame) has been in the movie business for three generations, acquired the site with the intention to return it to its cinematic origins.
Red Hill Cinemas joins the Five Star Cinemas lineup alongside Elizabeth Picture Theatre, New Farm Six Cinemas and the Yatla Drive-in. The new theatre features four premium Gold Room cinemas seating 70 patrons each, all with leather reclining chairs and the service of food and drink delivered to your seat. The venue also contains one traditional 160-seat cinema with leather seats. All cinemas feature 4k projection and the latest in surround-sound technology and are fully licensed and serviced by a fully operational kitchen. Unique to Red Hill Cinemas is a design that prioritises heritage, recycling and environmental innovation. Paying respect to the original site, the design has utilised elements of the existing structure in new ways – the plant stand above the candy bar is made from a ladder that was once used to reach the projection booth at Pop’s Picture Palace and timber from the original structure makes up part of the theatre’s ceiling. The recycled canvas chairs located in the foyer were sourced online from a cinema in Gayndah, Queensland and the timber flooring is recycled from the lanes of a bowling alley. As is their signature, the brothers have also filled the space with classic cinema artefacts from their family collection. Outside, Red Hill Cinemas is hard to miss with its brightly hued facade decorated by a mix of retained graffiti and new artworks depicting stars of the golden age of Hollywood.
Head to the Stumble Guide for online booking and contact details.