Movie magic! Tivoli Drive-In is saved

Pastor Fred Muys sits in front of the Tivoli Drive-in's new projector. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times
Pastor Fred Muys sits in front of the Tivoli Drive-in's new projector. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times Claudia Baxter

THE Tivoli Drive-In will remain open after raising $100,000 to purchase a new projector.

The community facility, run by the Rivers of Life Christian Church, has purchased a digital projector and outfitted its projection room.

The two-month campaign started on crowd funding website Indiegogo before appealing to local businesses and organisations for assistance.

The need to switch the drive-in's projector to digital came after they learnt 35mm film was being discontinued for a majority of movies by film distributors.

Pastor Fred Muys of the Rivers of Life church said the cinema faced the threat of closing down if it couldn't upgrade its facilities.

"The decision by Hollywood film distributors to stop releasing movies in traditional 35mm movie reel format, and switch completely to new technology digital cinema prints, meant that if we could not raise the $100,000 required for a new projector we would be forced to end our community drive-in movie nights by Christmas," he said.

Mr Muys said the campaign has seen great support from Ipswich's politicians.

"However, our two-month long appeal for support has seen a great response from people and business leaders from across the community, as well as from Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr Heather Morrow and other Ipswich City councillors, who have collectively contributed a very generous $46,200 towards the new projector," he said. "Ipswich West MP Sean Choat has also been successful in securing a commitment of financial support for the project from the Queensland State Government."

On top of more than $16,000 of donations from movie-goers and money from the council, the upgrade has gone ahead on the basis of around $30,000 of yet-to-be-received money pledged from local businesses, and an assurance from Ipswich West MP Sean Choat of assistance from the State Government.

The projector and associated new equipment is being installed this weekend with the first digital movies to be screened tomorrow night.

"We are confident that the families coming to the drive-in will really love the brilliant movie images generated by the new projector," Pastor Muys said.

Mr Muys said because of the new technology in the equipment the drive-in's projection room needed to be completely rewired before opening night.

The revamped drive-in comes with a ticketing war going on between Ipswich's commercial cinemas. The opening of the Limelight Cinemas at Riverlink has seen Birch Carroll and Coyle in the Ipswich Mall and Reading Cinemas at Redbank Plaza slash their ticket prices.

The Tivoli Drive-In is one of only two drive-in cinemas remaining in south-east Queensland.