Sun Pictures – Broome, Australia - Atlas Obscura

Sun Pictures

Broome, Australia

The oldest operating picture gardens in the world.  


Sun Pictures, also commonly known as Sun Picture Gardens, is the oldest open-air cinema still in operation.

The building was first owned by the Yamsaki family in 1903, who sold Asian goods and products, before converting part of the building into a Noh theatre (classical Japanese dance-drama). In 1913, a master pearler named Ted Hunter bought the property and began converting it into a cinema. 

Sun Pictures officially opened in December 1916, initially showing many silent movies. Over the years, the cinema changed ownership several times. It’s stated in historical records that due to tidal flooding and tropical weather patterns found in Broome, the picture theatre would often see flooding where some theatergoers were said to have caught a fish during a screening.

In 1995, the building was placed on the State Register of Heritage Places due to its historical and cultural significance. The cinema is directly under the flight path of the nearby Broome Airport. Visitors are warned to not be alarmed if the loud rumble and sight of planes make an appearance overhead. 

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May 5, 2023

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