Pop-up cinema plan set to reel in movie buffs

I-Spy Perth director Robert Redmond atop the multi-storey carpark in Scarborough where he plans to host a rooftop cinema. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d404978
I-Spy Perth director Robert Redmond atop the multi-storey carpark in Scarborough where he plans to host a rooftop cinema. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d404978

Robert Redmond is a director of I-Spy Perth, which began life as a Perth events website before Mr Redmond made the transition into hosting his own events, including Perth’s Sex And The City 2 premiere and the Official Heath Ledger Tribute.

Now he has a plan to transform the upper three levels of a multi-storey Wilson carpark into a pop-up, licensed outdoor cinema, operating six months a year.

The Manning Street carpark is largely deserted and the top three levels have been sealed off for eight years, however that has not stopped vandals tagging the levels extensively. The carpark is also a well-known sleeping place for the homeless.

The carpark was built in the 1980s when the area was envisaged as a future city, however with ample free parking on the beachfront the carpark is largely deserted, save for one locked section for local businesses.

Mr Redmond said the cinema would be based around the pop-up Sunset Boulevard bar at City Beach last summer in a more permanent venue.

‘In the first half of 2012 we were looking at the Sunset Boulevard Beach Club concept; we identified a lot of other places along the coast that would be ideal for it,’ he said.

‘I grew up in North Beach so I used to come to Scarborough a fair bit. I knew about the carpark and how run-down it was and I thought it would be a great idea.’

The plan has been given the go-ahead from Wilson Parking and agents for the owners, Tsokos Real Estate in Subiaco, but the final decision will be with the City of Stirling.

Mr Redmond said that with the State Government investing $30 million in the area through the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, he hoped the pop-up cinema concept would take hold.

‘People talk about Scarborough as not reaching its potential and they want to change that,’ he said.

City of Stirling acting approvals manager Peter Morrison confirmed Mr Redmond’s development application was currently being assessed and would go before council for a final decision.