A New King of Magic: Getting cinematic (and bean bags involved)
What if I told you that come the next dry season, Katherine’s hometown cultural facility is going to present a new outdoor cinema series, with dozens of cushy bean bags, Australia’s newest amphitheatre, and free movies for residents, visitors, and everybody? Thanks to recent funding from the Katherine Club and Community Benefit Fund, the team at Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre are planning that right now.
We’re calling it the Katherine Beanbag Cinema, and with your help and ideas, we expect to present ten family-friendly movie events between April and October. Animated films, science fiction, action heroes, Australian classics, and more—tell us what you and your family would like to see on an evening out, and we will factor that into future big screen programming. We want it to be magical!
With our focus on local identity and capturing the unique sense of place across our region, our team might even begin each screening with a look at local scenes, people, and landscapes. Imagine a sweeping trailer, not for a Hollywood blockbuster, but a three-minute fly over along the gorge, a sunset in Borroloola, or a slide show of faces from the community.
Throw in 30 very colourful marine-grade beanbags to spread out and get comfortable. Visit the new outdoor cafe before the movies to stock up on popcorn, snacks, and drinks. Bring a picnic and plenty of friends, then set up on the expanded Godinymayin grounds—beneath the bold architecture of the Territory’s next great amphitheatre—for dry season outdoor cinema like you’ve never seen.
It’s all part of the creative future we are planning for Katherine, thanks to the major Arts Trail investment by the Northern Territory Government and our growing list of project partners. There will be more announcements in the coming months—new ways to have fun, get creative, and spend leisure time or find holiday fun at Godinymayin. Maybe we’ll plan a country music mustering, partner with Aboriginal artists to offer workshops, host a weekend comedy festival, bring the circus to town, invite you to a long-table dinner on the amphitheatre stage? Perhaps we’ll fill the stage with live music or present more intimate concerts all year round on the outdoor deck?
One thing is certain: the Katherine Beanbag Cinema will debut in 2024 and help us activate a stunning new community asset—kick starting an ambitious new era for arts and culture programming. Tell us what you want to see. Propose something special for the stage, galleries, or grounds. Come talk to our team later this year, and take a look at what is happening in Katherine’s front yard. And when the rainy season ends and the sun goes down, a flickering light will hit the big screen at the cultural centre—and you’ll be invited in to help us make a new kind of magic.
— Eric Holowacz
Chief Executive Officer