Save Sawtell Cinema – Crowdfunding, Stratton and old chairs to save a cinema

Sawtell’s small seaside community, 10km south of Coffs Harbour, mourned the loss of their cherished art deco cinema when it closed its doors in December 2012, but two years later the community is buying the cinema back with the help of many generous donors, a crowdfunding campaign and David Stratton.

The revival of the cinema represents a true community groundswell. To date a total of 19 people from the Coffs Coast region have stepped forward to provide the necessary capital ($2 million) to purchase the original building, local designers and artists have contributed their time and skills to assist in developing new designs and over 500 people returned to the cinema to support its ongoing development and to buy a piece of cinema history at an open auction in May.

Now the focus has moved to the online community with the launch of the Save Sawtell Cinema crowdfunding campaign to purchase new seating for the cinema that is championed by film critic David Stratton who is acting as the patron for the campaign.

Crowdfunding offers supporters rewards to recognise their valuable contribution and film buffs will be tempted by the prizes on offer, including an option to have a seat named after themselves and a dinner with Stratton, among many other options.

The movement to save this decades-old, regional cinema demonstrates the power of a local community to shape its own destiny.  It also demonstrates the importance of the arts in building vibrant and healthy regional communities.

You can support the campaign here

Article originally published at

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