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Latest cinema upgrade brings new lounge offering that adds to 'premium experience'

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Upgrades are continuing at an iconic Sunshine Coast cinema, with its latest offering giving film lovers a place to enjoy a drink before, after or even during a movie.

Since taking over the Strand Cinema Caloundra in November 2021, Luke Warburton has been working to upgrade the venue.

Last year he transformed cinema one, filling the space with platinum recliner chairs that are full during most screenings.

Now he has opened the Strand Cinema Lounge, a fully licensed venue offering a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

“Business has continued to grow so we’ve been able to continue to make improvements inside each of the cinemas,” Mr Warburton said.

“We’ve refurbished all of the cinemas now with the latest sound projection, seats, carpets and curtains so we thought why not offer something a little bit different?

“We had some space available looking over Bulcock Street and out to the Glass House Mountains, so we thought let’s turn this office space into a lounge area.

“It’s quite a nice space now.”

Mr Warburton said in the past cinemagoers would sit and “wait” on timber chairs downstairs, but the new “comfy” space was decked out with lounge chairs and tables.

The new lounge within the Strand Cinema Caloundra.

“People can enjoy drinks before or after a movie,” he said.

“All of our cinemas are now licensed, so if they are wanting a beverage brought into them halfway through the film they can order it beforehand, tell us their seat and we will bring it in to them.

“We’ve also added some cakes and we will look at adding more food down the track as things progress.”

Mr Warburton said people “expected” a premium cinema experience these days, especially as at-home entertainment improves.

“We want to be enticing them to come out and be social and have a reason to move away from their home entertainment,” he said.

“This is just another way of making it a bit more comfortable and a bit more of an experience.

“Video or home entertainment has been around for years, so we have to continue bringing in new technology and keeping up with the latest trends.”

The refurbishment focus has now been turned to cinema two, which was damaged after a water leak in the ceiling over Christmas.

It is the largest cinema room in the complex and seats 110 guests.

“As of right now, we’ve completely pulled apart cinema two, which is our biggest-capacity cinema,” Mr Warburton said.

“We are currently upgrading seats and curtains, along with making repairs to the ceiling and aircon.

“We will continue doing little upgrades as the business continues to grows, where we need to.”

Upgrades are underway on cinema two at the Strand Cinema Caloundra.

Mr Warburton said there had been some blockbuster films hit the screen recently including Godzilla and Dune, with plenty on the schedule for June and July.

“At the moment I love The Fall Guy with Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling,” he said.

“Starting (on May 23) is the new Mad Max movie Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. It’s the most expensive film ever filmed in Australia. It’s a full Australian production and everyone needs to get behind it and support it.

“Then later on we have the new Garfield movie, Inside Out 2 and Deadpool & Wolverine.”

Mr Warburton said he tried to keep ticket and snack pricing low to make an outing to the cinema accessible for everyone.

Strand Cinema Caloundra is located at 11 Bulcock Street.

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