KOOKABURRA outdoor cinema owner-operator Peter Foyster and his team are celebrating ‘the Kooky’s’ 20th anniversary on Saturday with a feel-good movie they hope will be a crowd-pleaser.
Former owner Lindsay Morris said the Kooky was in safe hands when he parted company with the attraction he built and managed for 18 years in Mundaring.
Friends Peter and Agnes took the helm in 2015, saying not much would change but wanting to put their mark on the place.
New chairs in the picnic area and upgrades to the sound system and the cinema seats are notable changes.
“We’re showing more general movies to appeal to wider audiences because in attracting bigger crowds we’re able to continue screening the niche movies people have come to expect at the Kooky,” Mr Foyster said.
Mr Foyster’s right-hand man from day one has been Greenmount’s Alf Leaver, the groundsman-doorman who includes back-up operator among his varied roles.
He remembered not long ago the future of the cinema in the forest was uncertain.
“About four years ago, there were fears the site could be bulldozed if the land lease could not be renewed with the Department of Parks and Wildlife,” he said.
“Thankfully, the lease was renegotiated and the Kooky has shown many more movies since then.”
With three years to run on the current lease and an option of five more years on the block, Mr Foyster said the lights were not about to dim any time soon.
Kiosk attendant Savannah Prince (19) has grown up with the Kooky, first working at the cinema as a 13-year-old student studying film and television at Roleystone High School.
Other familiar faces in the entry kiosk are Heather Lynch, of Middle Swan, and Mt Helena resident Jill Bonser.
They said the outdoor cinema offered people a place to relax, enjoy a picnic and a glass of wine in a rural setting where they were ‘at home’ with the wildlife.
The movie for tonight and tomorrow is Queen of Katwe (PG), a biopic about a Ugandan chess prodigy who dreams of escaping a life of poverty. Other highlights of the season include Red Dog: True Blue (M), the Red Dog prequel tracing the origins of the kelpie who became a WA legend.
The event on January 28-29 will feature Mucky Duck Bush Band musicians, who will lead a bush dance around the grounds.
A $25 for two-movie deal is available through Shop A Docket supermarket vouchers and online.