THE heritage Star Theatre has been a Launceston icon since it first opened in 1937, and soon it will receive a facelift to return to its former glory.
New owners Andrew Quaile and Ben Davis said construction on the site will begin in March 2017.
“This will be an independent cinema first and foremost, but then we’ll also be a bar, a cafe, and hopefully a microbrewery,” Mr Quaile said.
“When we open we expect to employ eight full time equivalents, so a mix of say three full timers and a dozen or so casuals.”
The pair plan to install state of the art audio visual equipment in the building, and use the flat floor to create a versatile space can be used for more than just a cinema.
“There’ll be live events, conferencing, functions, dinner for up to 100 people, and wine and cheese nights,” Mr Davis said.
Mr Quaile and Mr Davis purchased the building in March 2015 from the St Vincent de Paul Society, which used the space as a charity shop for more than 40 years.
Before that it was Launceston's first suburban movie theatre.
The renovations and restoration of the Art Deco cinema will be made possible with the help of a $200,000 grant from the joint state and federal Tasmanian Jobs and Investment Fund.
It is one of 56 projects to receive support under the scheme, which combines $16 million worth of federal cash originally earmarked for Cadbury, and $8 million from the Tasmanian government.
“These are great projects for our community, across Tasmania we’ve got in the order of $100 million of investment being leveraged and 800 jobs,” Bass MHR Andrew Nikolic said.
But the timing of the investment package announcement has been criticised by Bass Labor candidate Ross Hart.
“We’ll support any project that is going to be delivering much needed investment into our local economy… but the average voter in Bass would have to be very cynical about the fact that election announcements precipitate promises for delivery of projects in our local community,” he said.
“There really needs to be a long term focus on driving jobs in our community and that's why a focus on education, including the UTAS proposal, is a strong indication of our commitment to the region and a long term sustainable future.”
A full list of successful applicants from across the state can be found here.