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Australia Darwin council to vote on RSL site as Deckchair Cinema fears for future

01:27  13 october  2020
01:27  13 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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Darwin 's 66-year-old deckchair cinema says it is under threat from proposals to build an RSL less The proposed site for the new clubhouse sits on Darwin Council land currently used as a carpark Mr Vatskalis, a Darwin RSL member, has recused himself from any votes on the plans due to the conflict.

Deckchair Cinema - Jervois Road, Darwin , NT, Australia 0800 - Rated 4.8 based on 176 Reviews "A unique experience. Always good food on offer before the Spend an evening under the stars at Darwin 's premier outdoor cinema , the Deckchair Cinema .

a group of palm trees: Darwin's Deckchair Cinema is concerned a new RSL could compromise the cinema's amenity. (Supplied: Deckchair Cinema) © Provided by ABC NEWS Darwin's Deckchair Cinema is concerned a new RSL could compromise the cinema's amenity. (Supplied: Deckchair Cinema)

An outdoor cinema in Australia's tropics is facing the next step in an unlikely battle for survival with a local RSL club.

Darwin's RSL sub-branch wants to build a new harbour-side licensed clubhouse on the city's Esplanade — within potential earshot of the Deckchair Cinema.

Darwin council members will tonight vote on whether to give "in-principle" support to the $10 million development.

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Deckchair Cinema , Darwin : Hours, Address, Deckchair Cinema Reviews: 4.5/5. We love the Deckchair "Outdoor" Cinema , It is unique & filled with thought's of yesteryear when outdoor viewing was abundant, great place to Would recommend getting their early to enjoy the food vans on site .

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"The main concern is noise," Deckchair Cinema general manager James Parker said.

"Running a large two-story club on the top of the hill behind the screen — it's the worst location possible."

Mr Parker and Deckchair Cinema committee members said they feared noise pollution from the new building could put the "cultural icon" out of business.

He said in a usual year, the not-for-profit cinema attracted about 50,000 visitors — local residents and tourists.

"For anybody who has visitors to Darwin, one of the first things they do is bring them to the Deckchair," committee member Di Koser said.

"To lose it would be such a huge gap, it would be irreplaceable."

RSL sub-branch president Stephen Closter was not available for comment but a spokesman said noise issues could be dealt with by good building design.

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The Deckchair Cinema is open nightly during the dry winter season between late-April and mid-November. In 2003, it was re-located to its present site . During the wet summer months of late-November and early-April, programmes are screened at the BCC Darwin 5 Cinema in the city centre.

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The sub-branch's former club building in Darwin's CBD was gutted by fire two years ago.

The proposal for the two-storey 'Defence of Darwin House' replacement covers more than 3,000 square metres and includes a ground floor cafe for public use and a first-floor licensed club for members and guests.

The RSL sub-branch is asking the council for a 99-year lease of land near war memorials such as the Cenotaph and a Bombing of Darwin garden.  

A plan for pokies at the licensed venue has been scrapped, according to the sub-branch spokesman.

More than 11,000 people have now signed an online petition against the RSL's plan. The petition was tabled in the NT Parliament earlier this year.

"I would hope that members of council really think very carefully about what message they are being given by the local community, the ratepayers of Darwin," Ms Koser said.

"To me, it's very clear and I hope they are listening.

"The council's CEO has put in his recommendation to support it, which is alarming," Mr Parker added.

In the documents before the council, the RSL sub-branch has flagged asking for federal and NT government funding to help with the development.

"The RSL has most of that sum in hand," the document said.

"Commonwealth and Northern Territory government involvement will be solicited."

A spokesman for Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the NT Government's position on the proposal had not changed. Mr Gunner previously said the location was "wrong".

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usr: 1
This is interesting!