Want to carry on the tradition at the Odeon Star Cinema?

The historic Odeon Star cinema complex at Semaphore has been put up for sale.

If you’ve seen the for sale sign outside Semaphore’s historic Odeon Star Cinema, don’t be alarmed. The local movie theatre is here to stay – for now.

Owners Terry and Jacky Proud are looking to sell the heritage listed building but not the business. It’s a move – they hope – will see the iconic cinema continue its almost 100 year-long tradition.

The property’s distinctive 1920s art deco faćade is heritage listed so must also remain as it is, says selling agent Frank Azzollini of LJ Hooker West Lakes – Henley Beach.

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“Basically the owners are continuing the business but are selling the building,” he says.

“So whoever buys it, that flexibility has to be there. The owners are very community based and their preference is to keep the business running if possible.

The Odeon Star Cinema at 65 Semaphore Rd, Semaphore.

“However, if someone wants to buy the building and the business, for the right price, well … anything is for sale as they say.”

Set on a 959sqm block at 65 Semaphore Rd, the cinema – which comprises three theatre rooms, a New York-style candy bar, a projection room, and a warehouse-style void to the rear of the complex – is already attracting plenty of buyer interest.

That’s despite being marketed without a price guide.

One of the heritage cinemas theatres.

“So far, we’ve had interest from a couple of cinema groups, as well as hospitality groups,” Azzollini says.

“In regards to the sale, selling this property is almost like trying to price fine art, because it’s so special.

“So we’re letting the market decide by putting it up for tender which will close on Monday, November 26.”

Azzollini says the cinema has a colourful life story.

“Originally the cinema opened as the Wondergraph Picture Palace in 1920 – at the cost of three pence a show,” he says.

The Odeon Star Cinema has a nostalgic candy bar.

“In 1952, it became the Odeon Star but sadly, after the introduction of television and a victim of the trend away from cinemas, it closed in 1976.”

Azzollini says the cinema partially reopened in 1991, operating as movie theatre on the upper auditorium. The lower area became Hoffs Second-Hand Emporium.

“It wasn’t until 1997 that we saw the reopening of the refurbished Odeon Star Theatre as the fully functional cinema that we know today,” he says.

This article from The Advertiser originally appeared as “Consider yourself a movie buff? Then this listing in Semaphore is one you don’t want to miss…”.