Three Springs tourism strategy includes Silo Cinemas and historic store redevelopment

Jake DietschGeraldton Guardian
Concept plans for a grain silo cinema in Three Springs.
Camera IconConcept plans for a grain silo cinema in Three Springs. Credit: Shire of Three Springs

A 112-year-old store is set to become a Mid West’s town’s one-stop tourism hub, while its towering silo towers will become a giant outdoor movie screen.

As part of its transformational tourism strategy, the Shire of Three Springs sought federal grant funding this month to turn the vacant Duffy’s Store — built in 1910 as a general store — into a visitor centre, museum and cafe.

Duffy’s has been vacant since 1990 when it was last used as a sub agency.

The shire also wants to use its 56m by 45m decommissioned CBH grain silos as a movie screen, with a Lotterywest grant application pending.

The silos are no longer used by CBH and would become the 15th biggest outdoor screen in the world and the biggest in WA if the plan goes ahead.

Shire president Chris Lane said the store redevelopment would cost about $2.5M and the silo project would cost about $150,000.

Cr Lane said the proposal included restoring the state heritage listed store to its early-20th century glory.

“Three Springs does not have a museum but we don’t want this to be a dusty old museum with rusty tins and shearing shears,” she said.

“We’re hoping for more technology that showcases the heritage of the area in an interactive way.”

Cr Lane said this could include touch screens, audio and even virtual reality that simulates sitting in a harvester cab or walking into a shearing shed.

The tourism strategy would see the visitor centre, which operates during wildflower season, relocated.

The shire president said the town’s silo’s were an “amazing” asset that had stood for 60 years.

The shire trialled the projector technology last year, which adjusts to the curvature of the surface.

Cr Lane said the shire hoped to have four to six screenings a year, with roadblocks and food vans, delivering a “regional attraction.”

“We hope to have screenings of things like live streamed music events or an underwater jetty or space Hubble, rather than the standard drive-in kid’s movie,” she said.

“The plan is to deliver something truly special and unique.”

The shire hopes to have an outcome on its grant applications by the middle of this year.

The shire president said the main tourism target would be the Perth market, but the shire was hoping for visitors from Geraldton, across WA and even interstate.

“We want visitors to come up for the weekend, see the wildflowers and salt lakes, rather than just making a quick two-hour stopover,” Cr Lane said.

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