Closure of candy bar prompts petition

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

A petition has started circling Port Hedland to reopen the Matt Dann Theatre and Cinema candy bar kiosk amid concerns the lack of revenue could lead to a complete closure of the cinema.

After a two-month closure because of a mould outbreak, the cinema’s candy bar kiosk has remained closed to mitigate any risk of new mould growth, according to the Town of Port Hedland.

In an attempt to have the kiosk reopen, Port Hedland resident Matt Herwig has penned a petition to the Town of Port Hedland and Hedland Senior High School through change.org.

“I’ve lived in mining towns all my life and Port Hedland is the first one where there’s been a cinema and my family and I love going — it’s a creature comfort, us and the community love it,” he said. “Over the years, it’s become quite successful and if it closed due to a lack of funds, it would be really sad.

“It also really changes the vibe going into the cinema without the popcorn and snacks, and I have no doubt the lack of revenue from the candy bar is hurting the bottom line.”

The Department of Education executive director of infrastructure John Fischer said consultant recommendations suggested no food or drinks were to be consumed in the main theatre after the closure because of water damage, a severe mould problem and an infestation of mice. “Heavy rainfall and leaks, and maintenance of air-conditioners were a major part of the problems with the building,” he said.

“There was also an ongoing issue with food and drinks being spilled in the theatre and people not picking up their rubbish while it was being used by the community outside of school hours.

“For that reason, food and drink may be consumed in the foyer area, and not the theatre.”

Town of Port Hedland chief executive David Pentz said alternative options would be explored that may allow the kiosk to be reopened in the future.

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