Jaffa Room closes

Jaffa Room closes
Jaffa Room closes

THE Jaffa Room�s founder would �turn in his grave� to know the theatre had closed, says owner Rob Denman.

After nine years at the helm, Mr Denman closed the doors of the eclectic 30-seat space, formerly known as the Ron Tutt Theatrette.

Named after a well-known film industry personality, the theatre opened in the 1980s as a screening room that evolved to become an �underground� party venue, but little remained of the theatre last week.

Mr Denman said the late Mr Tutt started the theatre in his South Perth back yard before he opened the Claisebrook Road venue.

�Ronnie would be turning in his grave,� Mr Denman said.

�It was the first micro cinema in Australia.�

The theatre changed hands a few times before Mr Denman and his wife Donna bought it in 2006.

�Unfortunately there were not enough seats to make it more open to public because the cost involved in showing a film just did not make it viable,� Mr Denman said.

�We could have ripped out the saucer seats and added five more but it would have defeated the purpose because it�s not what the Jaffa Room was about.�

After showing 35mm film using 1950s projectors for more than a decade, the Jaffa Room went digital in 2012.

�It was sad because there�s warmth in watching 35mm,� Mr Denman said.

�Digital doesn�t have the nostalgia and character, but film was a lot of work.�

Mr Denman said it took half an hour to put a film together as everything was manual but he had amazing memories from parties held there.

�I was running off one projector for a while and Ron mentioned there was one in Merredin so he went up there and found it at the dump,� he said.

Mr Denman said Mr Tutt salvaged and fixed the projector, which the theatre used for two years.

For years, a giant bowl of jaffas greeted moviegoers as they arrived but Mr Denman said he had to stop supplying the lollies after continued damage to the screen.

�Kids kept throwing them at the screen and it just ended up costing too much to clean it,� he said.

�It�s the end of the Jaffa Room in the sense of where it is now, but there are plans for something unique and wonderful later on down the track.�

n Opinion, page 9