News

Back to the drive-in future

New owner of the Lower Wonga Drive-In, Greg Beer, is looking forward to opening the cinema before Christmas.
New owner of the Lower Wonga Drive-In, Greg Beer, is looking forward to opening the cinema before Christmas. Renee Pilcher

NEW Lower Wonga Drive-In proprietor Greg Beer just picked up the keys to his new acquisition on Thursday and said he would have the cinema open before Christmas.

The Gympie Times was there when Mr Beer first arrived at the property as the new owner.

But he’s no newcomer to the drive-in, having worked on the last day it was open for previous owner Gary King.

The settlement for the purchase went through without any hiccups on Wednesday and now Mr Beer will start plans to relocate from Brisbane.

A popular destination, with 1062 fans on Facebook, the drive-in has languished since it closed in mid-October last year.

The grass is overgrown, weeding is overdue and some the equipment has “arthritis” but, after a spruce up, the place will hopefully be restored to its former glory, Mr Beer said.

Greg Beer is planning on living out at one of Australia’s last remaining drive-ins at Lower Wonga.

He just purchased the 20.23 hectare property that includes a house, the three screen theatre and eatery for the bargain price of $380,000.

“But there is a lot of work to do,” he said, before the cinema can be opened again.

The property was placed on the market by the bank when previous owner Gary King could not afford to run both the Sovereign Cinema and the drive-in anymore.

“I feel sorry for Gary, he put that much into it.”

Mr Beer worked at the cinema for 10 years keeping the movies running when Mr King was away working at the mines.

The Kilkivan man moved to Brisbane a few years ago and has worked for Birch Carroll and Coyle for 28 years.

So he knows a thing or two about fixing old 28mm film equipment and has bought up another technician, Roger Harrison, who has 45 years experience in the industry, for more help.

At 67 Mr Beer said he was at retiring age and there was nothing keeping him in Brisbane so he decided to take a gamble on the business, which he said was capable of doing well.

He will start moving in next Tuesday and by Thursday next week will be permanently on-site.

Then he will focus on getting the equipment up and running and securing some films to show.

Mr King will not return to help run the drive-in, as was rumoured, Mr Beer said.

Instead he will look for someone he can train up to help operate the machines.

The Lower Wonga Drive-In Facebook page was flooded with messages from people saying they loved and missed the drive in when the news of a new owner and its potential opening before Christmas was posted two weeks ago.

Over 60 comments showed fans’ support of the re-opening.

Mr Beer said movies showed at the drive in would follow the Sovereign Cinema’s release dates by up to a month.

Gympie Times


Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Victory's new principal brings international experience

BRAND NEW YEAR: Victory College's new principal, Brett Costin.

Meet Victory College's new principal Brett Costin.

Kandanga butcher aims to snag national crown

MISSING LINK: Mitch Perkins is hoping to become the National Sausage King.

Mitchell Perkins is hoping to be declared sausage king of Australia.

Employers: Are you ready for the backpacker tax?

FARM WORK: Backpacker wages are now taxed at 15%, and employers have been asked to register with the ATO to ensure a smooth transition.

There's one thing you need to do by January 31

Local Partners

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

Gympie attracts buyers looking for affordable seachange

Core Logic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 3.4% to $269,000 in the September quarter.

Median house price drops 3.4% to $269,000 in the September quarter

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!