Cameo Cinema gets a $35,000 lifeline

A grant from a federal Screen Fund will help Murray Bridge's cinema keep its doors open.

It has been a tough pandemic for the owners of Murray Bridge’s cinema.

The Cameo closed its doors for five months in 2020 as COVID-19 forced most Hollywood studios to delay their major releases.

Even since then, limits on the number of people able to come and see a movie at any one time – and a tendency by many to stay home – have made it harder for Daryl Kennett to make ends meet.

Enter the federal government, which has given the Cameo Cinema a $35,000 grant to make sure it stays open.

Mr Kennett said the funding had taken a huge weight off his shoulders.

He said he would use it to pay wages, keep his snack bar stocked, maintain the building and its equipment, and advertise.

Federal MP Tony Pasin said the government’s $20 million Screen Fund was doing the same for cinemas around Australia.

“Cameo Cinema ... is so important to the fabric of our community,” he said.

“Through this fund we are already enabling 158 cinemas to keep operating and provide a popular, low-cost and COVID-safe way for people to go out and enjoy a movie as part of a community, particularly in regional areas.”

Despite the pandemic, the cinema has been the venue for a number of community events during the past year, including the local premiere of My Name is Gulpilil, the biopic about actor David; a short film festival for International Women's Day; and screenings in association with the Adelaide Film Festival.

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