Port Lincoln cinema owner shares love for movies

AT THE MOVIES: Angela Perin has shared her passion for movies while operating the Lincoln Cinema in Port Lincoln. Photo: Jarrad Delaney
AT THE MOVIES: Angela Perin has shared her passion for movies while operating the Lincoln Cinema in Port Lincoln. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

Angela Perin has grown up with a love of movies and the cinema, a love she is happy to share with the community as the owner/operator of the local cinema.

Alongside partner Steven Tokarski Ms Perin operates the Lincoln Cinema in the Flinders Theatre.

Ms Perin said she lived in Port Lincoln for six years between the ages of three and nine and it was during this time she would visit go to the cinema for the first time.

"My very first visit to any cinema was this one, with my Dad (Ante Zelencic) and my older brother (Tony Zelencic), and it was to watch The Neverending Story," she said.

Ms Perin would move back to Western Australia soon afterwards but her love of cinema would continue, celebrating her birthday for the next three to four years by going to watch a movie, and remembers throwing Jaffas at people.

Despite her love of going to the movies, she never thought a job at a cinema was in the cards.

"Not in a million years I ever thought it was something I would end up doing," she said.

Ms Perin credited her work with West Coast Youth and Community Support for reigniting her love for the cinema and learned a lot about what went into operating one.

WCYCS operated the cinema in the Flinders Theatre as 'Youthoria' for 10 years to provide a drug and alcohol free facility for young people in Port Lincoln.

"Over time we learnt the intricacies of playing a movie on the big screen and seeing the joy in the faces of people watching movies was a big driver for me," Ms Perin said.

Unfortunately WCYCS announced it could no longer operate the cinema due to a lack of ongoing government funding and increased economic pressure.

Ms Perin said taking on the cinema was in the back of her mind as something she could do and with her partner Mr Tokarski reopened the cinema as Lincoln Cinema in March, 2019.

"November (2018) was when I seriously considered it as a genuine option only because not a lot of people were putting their hands up and I didn't like the thought of living in a country town without a cinema,"she said.

"We've developed life-long relationships with people who came through our doors on a regular basis and we feel lucky we are well supported by the community."

Another hurdle for the cinema would come in 2020 as COVID-19 led to the closure of cinemas across the world.

However the cinema adapted, providing a snack delivery business as it focused on keeping its staff employed during this time.

"While COVID is challenging, we felt luckier than most because Steve and I had second jobs, and it meant we could concentrate on our staff and community rather than ourselves," Ms Perin said.

However the cinema would soon reopen its doors and again show movies to the public.

As for what her favourite movies are, Ms Perin said her taste was "eclectic".

"I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, I've made my children watch all the Harry Potter movies," she said.

"I like things like Bridget Jones' Diary, Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, I'm fairly eclectic and like to watch different kinds of movies."

As for her work in the community, Ms Perin said one of the most rewarding parts of it has been the connection with youth.

"I feel privileged to work with young people in this town, helping them understand the power they have to activate change, not just in the community but in themselves."

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