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UK, Ireland Push For Digital                                         Douglas Annand and bronze handles
            After the Cameo in Edinburgh                                       cast by Gordon Andrews, who designed
          road-tested digital projectors from both                             Australia’s decimal currency.
          disc and cable signals and the public                                Adelaide’s Regent Arcade Sold
          reaction varied from “no difference to
                                                                                  Adelaide-based Malabe Group has
          35mm”, to “higher visual quality,” the
                                                                               purchased the Regent Arcade. The
          pace of changeover is likely to
                                                                               former Regent theatre will be
                                                                               reconfigured to become a retail super
            Docspace an Edinburgh-based,                                       store. Cinema is not part of the
          publicly funded organization will assist                             redevelopment.
          cinemas in Scotland to make the    Avoca Beach Protests
          transition. In Ireland Avica, a US-based  Argument rages over the future of  New Zealand News
          company will convert all 500 screens in  the Avoca Beach Theatre near Gosford  According to the latest survey
          105 cinemas. In the UK the Film    on the NSW central coast. According to  cinema attendances in New Zealand are
          Council is building a network of some  Susan Kurosara in her column  down 10 percent. Reasons given
          200 digital screens to go live in early  Departure Lounge (The Australian),  include: Admission prices too high,
          2006. In the USA the Landmark group  towns like Avoca Beach, which rely on  previous survey of ticket sales was
          of 100 art-house cinemas has       tourists, need buildings with ‘high  skewed by the Lord of the Rings Trilogy
          announced that it will make the change.   eccentricity value and great  and DVDs are too cheap.
                                                                                  Progress on the Paramount Triple,
            The push for change is from the  reputations’. The theatre is described as
                                                                               Wellington is slow but two cinemas are
          distributors, who stand to make great  a quirky, single screen, 1950s
          savings when it is no longer necessary  bungalow-style structure, which caters
          to strike a 35mm print at a cost of  to lovers of foreign and independent  Penthouse Cinema 4 is moving
          $2,500 and see it deteriorate with use.   films. It seats 285. One local claims  ahead, but appears to be behind
            Cheaper tickets are not a foregone  that a penguin waddled in one night.    schedule.
          conclusion, and the argument about   The landlord’s proposal is for a   Lighthouse Group is expanding. At
          who should pay for the change-over  four-storey building enclosing the  Petone, a suburb near Wellington, a
          continues. (Exactly who will pay in the  theatre, effectively reducing it to a  third screen has been opened, while
          UK is not clear from the reports.) One  curio. The plan includes three screens,  construction at Island Bay and
          insider view is that the cinema owner  an art gallery, restaurant and apartments  Pahartanui continues.
          should pay, on the basis that “what you  with underground parking, all the  Reading, the new owners of the
          don’t own, you can’t control.”     things that make life comfortable, but  Movieland group of cinemas has plans
            One indisputable improvement that  would also make the site        to upgrade them, but will not continue
          digital can deliver is absence of  indistinguishable from developments  with Movieland’s policy of including
          ‘flicker’, a technical problem never  anywhere.                      art-house films. This could open the
          totally solved in the 20th century.   Incidentally, Kurosara names two  way for a competitor, since Kapiti art-
                                             other cinema favourites, and they are  house fans now have to travel 50km
          Planetarium Goes Digital
                                             both in New Zealand – Dorothy     north to Levin or 50km south to
            The Melbourne Planetarium at
                                             Browns in Arrowtown and Cinema    Wellington.
          Scienceworks has re-opened with a
                                             Paradiso in Wanaka.                  Raumati Beach just five km. from
          digital, full dome video projection                                  Paraparaumu Beach is to get two
          system. The image is seamless and  Possible Heritage Listing for     boutique cinemas and a live theatre
          blankets the hemispherical dome with a  Regent Wollongong            auditorium in a shopping development
          high-resolution image.               A recommendation by the NSW
                                                                               due to be completed in November
                                             heritage Commission to list the 1,500-
          Big Screen Video Games                                               2006. All places mentioned are between
                                             seat Regent, awaits approval by the
            One screen at Hoyts Merrylands                                     Wellington and Palmerston North.
                                             Planning Minister.
          (NSW) now offers video games. For the
                                               Gateway City Church, which
          first time the designer detail in the                                REPORTING BY:
                                             bought the building last year for
          games can be appreciated: no such                                    Mel Elliott, Colin Flint, Tony Froude,
                                             $3.4m., and now hold services there,
          thing as nondescript pixels when the                                 William Gray, Brian Hunt, Peter
                                             oppose the listing. The Church and
          screen size is 12.2 m. by 7.6 m.! Also,                              Wolfenden, Eric White and Ian
                                             Friends of the Regent Theatre have
          tank cannons and plasma rifles firing                                Williams; supplemented by information
                                             been invited by the Minister to make
          sound in cinema surround sound.                                      from City Weekly, The Australian, The
                                             their final submissions. Heritage listing  Herald Sun, Adelaide Advertiser and
            Combining the luxury of the cinema
                                             would not prevent changes, but it would
          with the dynamic experience of
                                             make the Heritage Council a consent
          gaming, the concept is likely to attract
          clubs and the corporate sector to run
          tournaments, with finalists battling it  The building is the surviving
          out in front of an audience.       commercial example of flamboyant
                                             décor by Sydney designer Marion Hall
                                             Best. It includes a tiled mural by
          6   2005 CINEMARECORD
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