Cinemas return to Wynnum after 60 years

Wynnum’s Lato Baia residential development is a blockbuster in the making. Photo: supplied
Wynnum’s Lato Baia residential development is a blockbuster in the making. Photo: supplied

It might be Wynnum’s tallest residential development but Lato Baia has everyone talking for another reason – movies.

The seven-storey, mixed-use development is bringing the cinema back to the bayside suburb for the first time in half a century by opening four boutique cinemas with a 25-57 seat capacity and two larger cinemas with up to 189 seats on the lower levels of the complex.

“I see this building as a catalyst for Wynnum,” says Raine and Horne Wynnum agent Margaret Vote, who is selling the properties with co-agent Justin Smith.

Wynnum’s previous cinema, the Star Picture Theatre, burnt down in a blaze that claimed the lives of two firefighters in 1959.

“We’ve waited for cinemas for so long,” Vote says.

A newspaper clipping showing the fire in 1959.

“And everybody’s excited that finally they’re coming. The good part of that is it will attract a new demographic, which will flow on to the cafes and restaurants. People will stay here where they would have gone to (see a movie in) Bulimba. They are actually excited that they can live here, walk to the water front, watch a movie, have dinner. And the units are very reasonably priced.”

There has been interest in the two penthouses but most contracts have been for the lower levels. “That tells me that under $600,000 buyers are very keen, and even under $450,000,’ Vote says.

In the first three months of 2020 the sales team fielded over 230 inquiries.

“The main selling point is price, that’s attracted a lot of inquiry, a large amount of downsizers and 50% of inquiries are within a 10km radius,” Smith says.

The project is a Ham Brothers development and Hutchinson Builders are expected to have the roof on by the end of June.

The communal rooftop as it will look at Lato Baia. Photo: supplied

This is the second Ham Brothers collaboration for Raine and Horne lead agent Justin Smith, who worked with the bayside developers on another multi-use development, Miami One, at Burleigh Heads.

Construction work is four to five weeks ahead of schedule. The cinemas are finished, and level five of residential Tower B has had its floor laid with agents allowed on site for the first time to admire the views.

A display apartment is expected to open in June or July along with an announcement on the cinema operators.

Lato Baia, which means ‘by the bay’ in Italian, will have 67 units across two towers, with cinemas and a cafe below.

The development is 400m from Waterloo Esplanade and 30m from the Waterloo Hotel.

This article from The Courier Mail originally appeared as “Cinema returns to Wynnum in new development”.