The Majestic Theatre Pomona

7 mins read
The Majestic Theatre Pomona from the front
The Majestic Theatre Pomona from the front

The Worlds Longest Running Silent Film Theatre

The Majestic Theatre Pomona is set in the heart of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. Standing as a beacon of cultural heritage and community spirit. As an integral part of Pomona Arts Inc., a dedicated non-profit organisation, this theatre is more than just a venue; it’s a vibrant hub for the performing arts and a testament to the region’s rich historical tapestry. With its doors open to all, the Majestic Theatre invites you to become part of its ongoing legacy. If you would like to become a member and contribute to preserving this iconic venue, it’s $20 annually, and you get a free double pass to a silent movie of your choice.

The Majestic Theatre Pomona

A Journey Through Time: The Majestic Theatre’s Storied Past

The Majestic Theatre in Pomona stands as a remarkable testament to the golden era of cinema, holding the title of Queensland’s longest-continuously operating picture theatre and the world’s only theatre to screen silent films consistently. Originating as a social hall with attached shops in 1921, this architectural gem has endured through the decades, even after a significant refurbishment in 2006, preserving its rare and functional pre-World War II character. Its foundation, funded by Clara McDonald, laid the groundwork for a venue that would become a pivotal cultural and social hub in Pomona, serving various community functions beyond its cinematic offerings.

The Early Years

In its early years, the Majestic Theatre was a vibrant centre for entertainment and social gatherings, accommodating silent movies, vaudeville productions, dances, and even boxing matches. The transition from silent to sound films marked a significant evolution in its history, with the first “talkie” debuting in 1931, further cementing its role as a local entertainment staple. The theatre’s unique charm was enhanced by its original features, such as the sprung dance floor and the multifunctional spaces that hosted a range of community events, making it a beloved local landmark.

The Majestic THeatre in Pomona in the early days
Ron & Mandy West

The Legacy of Majestic Theatre in Pomona

The theatre’s legacy continued to grow under the stewardship of Ron and Mandy West, who introduced the Travelling Film Festival in the 1970s and later pivoted to showcasing silent films exclusively, thus earning international recognition. The Majestic Theatre’s journey through renovations and technological upgrades, culminating in its centennial celebration, underscores its enduring appeal and commitment to preserving cinematic history. Now operated by Pomona Arts Inc., this volunteer-run institution remains a beacon of cultural heritage, offering a unique window into the past while enchanting audiences with its silent film screenings.

The mAjestic Theatre today

The Majestic Theatre Today

Today, the Majestic Theatre Pomona is a lively community enterprise under the stewardship of Pomona Arts Inc. Run by a passionate team of volunteers, it’s a place where the past and present converge, offering a diverse array of events from silent film screenings to live performances, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.

If you want to find out what is on now, check here.

Silent Film Saturdays: A Nod to Nostalgia

Every Saturday at noon, the Majestic Theatre transforms into a time capsule, screening silent films in an ambience reminiscent of early 20th-century cinema. Accompanied by a live organist who breathes life into each scene, these screenings are a must-see for film aficionados and history buffs alike, offering a rare opportunity to experience cinema in its purest form.

The Organ

The Majestic Theatre Pomona houses a true marvel of musical engineering – a rare 1937 Compton Organ, one of only four in Australia. This extraordinary instrument was generously bequeathed to the theatre by the Linnett family of Brisbane in 2012 after a devastating flood claimed the theatre’s original organ. Blair Linnett, a passionate organist and the family patriarch had previously imported this magnificent piece from Chester, UK.

The restored Compton Organ

Restoring this historical organ was no small feat; it took a dedicated team 6.5 years to bring it back to its former glory. With its massive 7.5-tonne frame, the Compton Organ is an orchestral powerhouse comprising around 850 pipes, visible through a specially designed viewing tower in the main hall. These pipes are illuminated, adding a visual spectacle to the auditory experience.

The organ boasts approximately 138 separate instruments, creating a sound that is nothing short of monumental. Its ability to bring films to life, especially silent films, adds a rich, immersive dimension to the cinematic experience at the Majestic Theatre. The Compton Organ serves as a testament to the theatre’s dedication to preserving historical treasures.

Venue Hire: Host Your Event in Historic Elegance

The Majestic Theatre isn’t just a place to watch; it’s a place to be seen. Available for private hire, it offers a distinctive backdrop for a wide range of events. Whether you’re launching an album, hosting a performance, or celebrating a milestone, this venue, with its fully stocked licenced bar and modern amenities, promises an unforgettable experience.

A Testament to Community and Culture

The Majestic Theatre Pomona is more than just a building; it’s a living, breathing entity that encapsulates the spirit of Pomona and the northern Sunshine Coast hinterland. Its commitment to preserving heritage while fostering a vibrant arts scene makes it a cornerstone of the community and a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.

Location: 3 Factory Street, Pomona, QLD 4568