Vegas 70 Revived – Ballarat Heritage Festival

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The Vegas 70 was once the most popular cinema in Ballarat. The Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute and Showbiz Cinemas have collaborated to bring back the Vegas for the Ballarat Heritage Festival. The first moving pictures (called cinematograph) in Ballarat were shown at the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute in 1896!

In 1909 the first bioscope pictures were shown in the main hall (now the Minerva Space) at the BMI. Later, in 1917, the hall was leased to the Austral Photoplay Co. for showing silent pictures. Then in 1919, a syndicate, including Messrs J. Clemens, C. Gemmola and F.S. Jelbart, opened the Britannia Picture Theatre in the same space.

The Britannia was later followed by the Odeon Cinema, and then Vegas 70 theatre in 1966. The Vegas was a staple in Ballarat film scene for 15 years. The Vegas was closed in 1981, after which the Sturt Cinema opened in 1994.

The team invite you to revisit the old Vegas Cinema for a night of 70s blockbusters!

7.00pm: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 1971.

9.30pm: Saturday Night Fever, 1977.

Popcorn, snacks, and choctops will be available from the refreshment stand. The bar will be open for Saturday Night Fever screening only – beer and wine will be available.

This event is presented in partnership with Showbiz Cinemas.

Content: The Ballaarat Mechanics Institute

Accessibility Information

  • Caters for people who are blind or have vision loss.
  • Caters for people with sufficient mobility to climb a few steps but who would benefit from fixtures to aid balance. (This includes people using walking frames and mobility aids)
  • Caters for people who use a wheelchair.
  • Welcomes and assists people who have challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behaviour. (includes people with autism, intellectual disability, Down syndrome, acquired brain injury (ABI), dyslexia and dementia)
  • An access and inclusion statement is available (make this available on your website).

  • Sat 18 May

7pm–11:30pm

Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute

117-119 Sturt Street, Ballarat Central VIC 3350

$20 per person

Double Feature discount – See two movies, get one half price!


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Accessibility Information

  • Caters for people who are blind or have vision loss.
  • Caters for people with sufficient mobility to climb a few steps but who would benefit from fixtures to aid balance. (This includes people using walking frames and mobility aids)
  • Caters for people who use a wheelchair.
  • Welcomes and assists people who have challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behaviour. (includes people with autism, intellectual disability, Down syndrome, acquired brain injury (ABI), dyslexia and dementia)
  • An access and inclusion statement is available (make this available on your website).

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Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.

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© 2023 Ballarat In The Know. This initiative is funded by the City of Ballarat and Tourism Midwest Victoria.