Bowraville Theatre

74 High Street Bowraville NSW 2449

Among other attractions Bowraville is home to a beautifully restored old movie theatre house which has had a chequered history.

History of the Theatre

The Bowraville Theatre was built in 1940 and like many -picture shows- in country towns, was at the hub of the social activity on a Saturday night.

Like many businesses in country towns, it operated as a racially devided business. Aboriginals had to not only buy their tickets separately, enter the Theatre by a separate side entrance, occupy inferior seating below an interior partition, but they had to do this after the program had begun.

The building was given a second lease of live, as "the Remant Basket." in the late 1960s. It went through several changes over a number of years until it eventually later fell into disrepair.

Eventually a few local people who were interested in the community and in various fields of the art, saw the need for a live performance venue in the area. In 2000, their dreams began to turn to reality. They built awareness in the community and a public meeting was held in the foyer of the Theatre.

Over 100 people attended the meeting about saving the Theatre. They voted unanimously to form a group with the aim of restoring the Theatre and providing a venue for cultural activities.

From this meeting, the Bowraville Arts Council was established. One of its first projects was to set up a cinema task force to plan to purchase and restore the cinema. The building was purchased, in the name of the Nambucca Valley Council, in October 2001, and restoration plans began.

Since that time the Bowraville Arts Council members have raised around $ 650,000. This includes grant from the Commonwealth, State and Local Governments, plus fundraising, from social events, shows, raffles and the like.

Members and friends from the town have also contributed thousands of dollars in unpaid labour to achieve the impressive restoration.

On Friday 29 August 2003, the Bowraville Theatre re-opened its doors. The indigenous community held a smoking ceremony and performed a welcome dance. It was an event celebrated by the whole town and since then, the Theatre has been the venue for a remarkable variety of film and stage performances. The Theatre is run by a dedicated team of volunteers from the Arts Council and it has gone from strenght to strenght hosting plays, concerts, workshops and fashion parades.


The Box Office Cafe opend Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays as well as for all firlms, live shows and theatre events. It serves delicious cappuccinos, teas and soft drinks, a variety of cakes and light refreshments. it is a vital part of the Theatre. Originally set up by volunteers, the Box Office Cafe is now professionally managed.


Nambucca Valley Council

Postal Address

PO Box 177
Macksville NSW 2447

Street Address

44 Princess Street
Macksville NSW 2447

Visit our Information Centre:

Nambucca Heads:

Nambucca Valley Visitor Information Centre
57 Riverside Drive
Nambucca Heads NSW 2448
ph: (02) 8007 6168 – Thursday to Sunday