Farewell to the Canteen

4th December, 2018

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a week since we ended screenings for 2018 and bid farewell to the Coombs Theatre. Unfortunately, the theatre is not the only thing we’re saying goodbye to when we make the move to our new home next year.

It is with great sadness that we must announce that our canteen – run by the wonderful people at the Rotary Club of Woden Daybreak – will not be operating in 2019.

Initially set up in 2004 to raise funds for charity while providing a much-needed service to our members, the canteen has grown to become as much as part of the ANU Film Group experience as everything else. For many members, a visit to canteen for a bag of popcorn, a hot dog, a cup of tea or some of those ever-popular red frogs is a must every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. On the odd occasion, visiting the canteen could even prove better than the film itself!

While cheap snacks may have been a draw for some, for many it was the Rotary Club’s volunteers that likely brought them back time and time again. Popcorn can be bought anywhere, but it was the people – always smiling, friendly and up for a chat – that made the canteen something special.

For all this and more, the ANU Film Group wishes to express our sincerest thanks to one person in particular: Robyn Rae. For the past 13 years, the lovely Robyn has devoted so much of her own time to the running of the canteen – staffing the roster, replenishing stock and, on most nights, working behind the counter herself. Though officially retired, running the canteen was almost a full-time job in itself for Robyn and we are forever grateful for everything she has done for the Group and its members.

We realise that this will come as sad news for many of you, as it certainly has for us and the Rotary Club. Despite our best efforts over the past year, we have simply been unable to find a viable space in the new building – or any alternative option – suitable for the canteen to continue running in its current form.

The Kambri precinct will still feature dozens of other food and drink outlets in the vicinity of the new cinema, so there will be no shortage of options for a bite to eat before or after screenings. And with construction nearing completion in early 2019, we continue to remain hopeful that we may find a way for the ANUFG to continue supporting the Rotary Club going forward.

In the meantime, if you would like to send a message of thanks to Robyn and the other volunteers, or would just like to find out more about what the Rotary Club of Woden Daybreak are doing in the community, please pay a visit to their website at www.rotaryclubofwodendaybreak.com.


The Rotary Club of Woden Daybreak took on the canteen for the ANUFG over 15 years ago, when our charter president saw it as an opportunity to connect with the community and raise money for worthwhile causes. I have been lucky to manage it for over 13 years, meeting many interesting people and being able to help some along the way by just talking with them.

We were so lucky to gain a Rotary member too from just being there at the right time! I have also seen many movies that I would not have considered watching, some more than others!

My thanks to all those that chose to come for a chat or a cuppa or dinner, I am already missing you all.