Swanpool is a small rural community on the Midland Highway between Benalla and Mansfield. It has a store, sports ground, bowling club, a couple of churches, just a few houses and the impressive Swanpool Hall. The hall was built by volunteers over two and a half years and was officially opened by Sir Henry Bolte on 1st November 1957.
Even before the hall was started the village had a history of screening films. To raise funds for the construction 16 mm films were shown in St Aidan's Hall, with the hire of a projector from St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Benalla. At a later date the community purchased their own projector and continued to show films, in the new hall, until the advent of TV made it non-financial, and the projector was sold.
Kevin Smith retired from the SEC in 1989 to start Swanpool Cinema in October 1991. He met Shirley Swallow, his wife to be, at a film festival in Rosebud and together they ran the cinema as a private business for just over 20 years, retiring in December 2011 on new Year's Eve.
Since that time the Cinema has been a not for profit Community Cinema, operated entirely by volunteers. The cinema was incorporated on 10 January 2012 as Swanpool Cinema Inc.
So for over 22 years now Swanpool Cinema has been screening the best of art house and quality movies, usually as a double feature on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Matinees, bus groups and fund-raisers are also promoted and catered for.
Swanpool Cinema has some recent improvements for your viewing enjoyment. The D Cinema digital projection system, upgraded and tweaked Dolby Sound, and a new roll up screen have been installed and are producing an excellent visual and aural experience. Work is continuing on the refurbishment of the cinema seating, thanks to our volunteers Dan and Nick.
A 16 mm projector, the old carbon arc glass slide projector and the 35 mm projectors were retained though, so the old classics can still be run. Air-conditioning now adds to the comfort and espresso coffee is available at the Candy Bar.
One added benefit of the new digital systems is to be able to work with local filmmakers and screen their video content. We can convert it from BluRay or DVD or from internet downloads. We can also screen live video and sound. Phone or leave a message on this website if you want to know more.
* Images on this page were gratefully provided by Kristian Laemmle-Ruff from the photographic book In the Folds of Hills. Set in the secluded valleys of Lima, Victoria, the book explores the wisdom and rich humanity found in the characters living and working on this land.