Glenbrook Cinema owner Ron Curran closes curtains on Glenbrook Cinema for now

The curtains are closed at the Little Cinema with the Big Smile.

After surviving "television, colour TV, videos, licensed clubs, DVDs, home theatre, multiplexes, streaming... big competition" Glenbrook Cinema owner Ron Curran said "nothing compares to the smallest creature in the world, this virus".

The family-run cinema celebrated more than 50 years in the business in 2018 and Ron Curran has not had much of a holiday since it first started. Now coronavirus has put paid to that.

Revamped social distancing laws meant the theatre could only work at 20 per cent capacity and when the government ordered cinemas to shutdown on Monday March 23, Glenbrook had already closed the doors days earlier after discussions with Blue Mountains City Council.

"It did seem surreal; one week we were sailing smoothly, then there was a sense of futility. This time there didn't seem to be a way through," he said.

"Nobody knows when it will be prudent to come back. We are formulating plans now, depending on several scenarios. That will keep me busy for a while."

Mr Curran jokes he is "79 - in cinema years that is 123" and finds the whole situation "severely frustrating but, with business tasks and planning, there has not yet been a time to think too hard about it".

He is "concerned for the whole community in general and my family in particular," but adds "my own health has always been pretty good".

The first night he opened the cinema to the public, no-one showed up, but it has built a loyal following since. Some 20,882 Glenbrook Cinema patrons saw the Australian hit, Babe, making it their most popular film. Since their announcement to close many loyal customers have offered to help.

Son Ben Curran, Glenbrook Cinema's marketing director, was born the year the Currans started the theatre and said they had suspended gift vouchers, advocating instead for customers to join their annual loyalty program ($1.50 off tickets) as an an online VIP member, with the expiry date "extended by the duration of the closure once we re-open".

"It was introduced on February 21 just before Australia started going crazy, however it was timely to have a customer program that our local community could join in this time of hardship to support Glenbrook Cinema," he said.

Ben said the closure of the business was inevitable when they could not be assured access to essential supplies such as hand-sanitiser, masks and toilet paper.

"Not only does the closure represent an entertainment void in our community, as so many are experiencing, our team, mostly casual employees, are now without employment."

He is hopeful that by the time self-isolation and lockdowns are over, "Australians will be ready to once again venture out into the world and support the social magic of our Australian cinema industry".

Mt Vic Flicks has also closed. Co-owner Kirsten Mulholland said several films and events have been postponed to later in the year, such as the Blue Shorts Film Festival.

"Firm details can't be set at the moment, but we'll update our website and facebook page as the situation becomes clearer. Gift vouchers are still available, people can email us at to request them.

"We look forward to seeing everyone again later in the year safe and well."