Oatmill Cinema opened it's doors on the 18th of December 1997. The
first film to show in Cinema One to the public was "Titanic",
an apt title considering the amount of work involved in creating
a first class home for movie entertainment in Mount Gambier. "Titanic"
went on to play at the Oatmill Cinema for 21 weeks and over 13,600
people watched Jack and Rose fall in love on the Atlantic ocean
and ... well, you know the rest...
But like all good stories, the history of the Oatmill Cinema begins
well before December 1997, seven years earlier actually, when in
September 1990 Landmark Pictures screened it's first film "King
Ralph" at the TAFE theatre on a Friday night at 7pm, to two
customers - only one of whom paid (the other now works at the cinema...)
Those early screenings were projected from 16mm film in glorious
mono, a presentation that would be totally unacceptable in today's
world of Dolby Digital Surround sound, Digital Cameras and home
theatre DVD systems. However, the people of Mount Gambier wanted
the same things that the original founders of Landmark Pictures
wanted - to experience the magic of the movies on the big screen,
anytime. Add in the classic touches of POPCORN, PEPSI and FRUCHOCS,
and you have an experience starting to resemble a great night out.
Eventually the old projector was replaced, as was the sound system
that almost vibrated out of the wall during the packed "Dances
With Wolves" screening. We couldn't do anything about the seating
(sorry), the auditorium was cold in winter and hot in summer (again,
sorry), tickets on a busy night were sold out of the cleaning closet
and the candy bar was a collection of school desks, but slowly a
loyal group of patrons began to build.
This must have been noticed because in 1994 not one but two multiplex
cinemas were proposed for Mount Gambier. Fortunately one of the
developers was an ex-local businessman and he approached Landmark
Pictures to lease the development he was proposing. Sounded great.
One court case, countless loan applications (for a very large sums
of money) and many council meetings later the site was finally cleared
for development and a great big hole dug. It would be another six
months before that hole began to look like anything other than a
hole. It was then that the local business, Versace Home Builders
stepped in and saw the development of the Oatmill Cinema building
through to it's final stages. Actually it all sounds easier than
it really was...
Today, the Oatmill Cinema really is home of the movies in Mount
Gambier. We have fantastic staff who create a fun and inviting atmosphere,
they love the movies and are constantly working to bring a wide
variety of films to as many people as possible. We have great screens
with superb sound and comfortable seating. Our popcorn is legendary
and our choc tops are the best in the business. We're also part
of this community and that's important to us and hopefully to you
But don't just take my word on any of this...
I look forward to sharing an experience with you and two hundred
other fellow strangers as we share a laugh, a cry, a journey to
the next middle earth or galaxy far far away or perhaps Titanic
here to see a map of our location in Mount Gambier.
here to look at The Oatmill Cinema's fascinating trivia
to know more about Mount Gambier? Click below...