Kalinga Star Theatre: A Century of Memories Flickers Back to Life

Kalinga Star Theatre

For decades, the Kalinga Picture Palace, later known as the Star Theatre, was a hub of entertainment and community connection. Now, nearly a century after its inception, the theatre’s story is being pieced together, shedding light on its evolution and its role in the lives of locals.



A Humble Beginning

The first documented mention of the theatre appeared in a 1920 electoral advertisement in the Daily Standard newspaper. It was initially an open-air venue known as the Kalinga Picture Palace, one of two locations hosting a political event that evening.




Evolution and Expansion

By 1926, the venue had been rechristened the Star Theatre. A few years later, in 1929, the Star underwent significant renovations, transitioning from an open-air cinema to a fully enclosed building with a roof. This improvement enhanced the viewing experience and allowed for year-round screenings.

The Talkies Arrive

In 1931, after a brief closure, the Star Theatre reopened with state-of-the-art RCA sound equipment. This marked a pivotal moment in the theatre’s history, as it could now screen “talkies,” or films with synchronised sound. This technological advancement attracted larger audiences and solidified the Star’s position as a premier entertainment destination.

Local Resources

Community Hub

The Star Theatre was more than just a place to watch movies. It served as a gathering point for the community, hosting events for local groups and schools. Kedron High School, for instance, is said to have used the theatre for children’s talent shows.  This multi-faceted role made the Star Theatre a vital part of Kalinga’s social fabric.

An Untimely End

Sadly, the Star Theatre’s story came to an abrupt end in the early 1960s when a devastating fire destroyed the building. In its place, a service station was built, leaving behind only memories and a few scattered records of the theatre’s vibrant past.



A Legacy Remembered

Although the physical structure of the Star Theatre is long gone, its legacy lives on in the memories of those who experienced its magic.  The story of the Kalinga Picture Palace and its transformation into the Star Theatre is a testament to the enduring power of cinema and its ability to bring communities together. 

As historians and enthusiasts continue to uncover more details about this beloved venue, its importance in the history of Kalinga and Brisbane’s cinematic landscape becomes even clearer.

Published Date 12-June-2024