As a 13-year old school boy in Italy, John Sorrentino – one of C-Square’s owners – couldn’t believe his luck when the projectionist at the local cinema asked him to assist. ‘The film reels had to be spliced together before screening, and if the projector stalled the intense light would melt the film and it had to be re-spliced. It was fantastic,’ John said. And at school, John – along with all the other students – took a subject in film appreciation, watching them with a critical eye and writing reviews.
Many years down the track, John’s passion for cinema is still strong. And as one of the owners of C-Square, he is closely involved with Majestic Cinema’s transformation into four cinemas, offering a selection of movies to match the biggest players, super-comfortable seats, high-quality projection, and very affordable prices. It’s every movie-goer’s dream!
Over the last six months, John and wife Stefania have undertaken considerable research into what makes a cinema great. Trying and testing seats, snacks, and ambience from Melbourne to New Zealand, John has identified the jewels in the crown, and is excited about bringing them to Nambour.
‘We’ve visited all of Majestic’s multiple-screen cinemas, and many of them are just stunning,’ John said. ‘Some are from the art deco era, with so much style. We’ve negotiated hard to get that quality for Nambour. We’ve chosen striking carpets to match the existing curtain in the big theatre – it’s just so glamorous we have to keep it. It’s going to be very special.’
‘We came across some incredibly comfortable chairs in Queenstown, New Zealand, and had to find out more about them. They are made by Camatics, Australian-made, with fold-up seats and a reclining feature. They’re the best we’ve ever tried, and soon, we’ll have them in Nambour! The existing seating in the auditorium wasn’t perfect for the cinema, but there’s life in it yet. And we’re really pleased that Nambour State College will be reusing it as seating for their assembly area.’
The selection of films available is also very important to John, and was a big factor in making the decision to go with Majestic. ‘All cinemas do not have access to all films, and that was a big consideration for us. Because Majestic focuses on regional areas, they can access Blockbusters and new releases, as well as art house and speciality films. Yet they still have really affordable prices,’ he said.
With prices ranging from $15-20 in some of the bigger-name cinemas, it makes Majestic’s $8 tickets with the Movie Club look like extremely good value. And the affordability continues over to the Candy Bar.
From the beginning, C-Square and Majestic owners knew that redevelopment of the cinema was necessary. ‘The quality of the image projection and the sound are also really important to us,’ said John. ‘And the existing infrastructure was not adequate for the films or the customer experience. The technology is constantly changing, and to offer the quality of experience that Majestic Cinemas prides itself on, we needed to make some changes,’ said Kieren Dell, Majestic Cinemas CEO.
‘We will be the only cinema on the Sunshine Coast using a laser projector, and one of two Majestic cinemas with this technology. We’re keeping the building’s existing structure while making sure that we can accommodate the best technology. That’s been a real challenge, but we’re determined to make it work,’ John said.
Work is already underway, converting the current, large theatre into three smaller theatres, bringing the total to four for 2017. And without a doubt, once it is finished, John will be one of the most appreciative patrons! Plan to join him in seeing some of the Christmas and New Year releases in style once the refurbishment is finished.