Page 10 - RD_2015_12
P. 10

He tells the story of how                                          building at the time of our visit were
          townspeople were happy to leave cast-                                not for an additional screen, but for a
          off furniture outside the premises when                              restaurant.
          they learned that he was transferring his                               At Franz Joseph, in glacier country,
          show from the town hall. As with the                                 The Alpine Adventure Centre - a
          Metro and the Geraldine, the                                         sales outlet for souvenirs, tours and
          personality of the proprietor is as much                             helicopter flights - includes under the
          the show as the image on the screen.                                 same roof a 60-seat, ‘poor man’s
          How many cinemas can boast director                                  IMAX’, called Helimax. The show is a
          Peter Jackson as a visitor?                                          professional documentary about the
          The Regent, Greymouth             Cinema Paradiso. When the owner    glacier country, on a big screen
                                            tongue-in-cheek told the locals that he was  (relative to the interior), but projected
                                            building a drive-in, he kept his word.  in 35mm.
                                            Image: Peter Wolfenden.               Many adventure-worlds include a
                                                                               cinema as part of the ticket price, but
                                               Other committees following this
                                                                               here the theatre was an attraction in its
                                            model include the Trusts associated
                                                                               own right, as well as an inducement to
                                            with the Regent, Hokitika (population
                                                                               book for a helicopter ride.
                                            8,000) and the St. James, Westport.
                                                                                  Single screen DVD cinemas are a
                                            (pop. 6,000)
                                                                               rarity. Two deserve mention for the fact
                                            WHAT DID WE LEARN?
            This theatre exemplifies the                                       that young people are having a go.
                                               In smaller towns the impetus to save
          possibilities for extending the life of a                            Academy Cinema, Dunedin
                                            a theatre often came from a repertory or
          cinema. Built for J.C.W. Ltd. in 1935
                                            light- opera company. At Ashburton the  The Academy is an experiment by
          on a prominent corner, the building
                                            Operatic Society saved the Regent,but  partners Jeffrey Broughton and
          includes commercial premises on two
                                            now an ambitious plan for a state-of-  Jonathon Duncan to attract the
          levels along the street frontage. Later
                                            the- art facility is likely to see that  University crowd. The theatre occupies
          operated by Kerridge and Pacer
                                            theatre demolished.                a former church and uses DVD
          Kerridge it is now owned by the West                                 projection. Jonathon  co-opted his
          Coast Theatre Trust Inc.             At Gore it was the Operatic Society
                                            Trust which worked to save the     architect sister Skye, to design a simple
            The renovations in mid -2000                                       installation for the foyer. The result is
                                            St. James. It now screens films in a
          emphasised flexibility of use. The bio-                              memorable: with horizontal strips of
                                            foreshortened auditorium in which the
          box was retained and the balcony                                     film as the base, irridescent ‘flying
                                            original proscenium has been moved
          extended to the stalls floor, to make a                              saucers’ rise one above the other.
                                            forward to create backstage facilities.
          466-seat cinema. The original deco                                   Welcome to another version of film-
          walls are covered by curtains. The   Although we saw theatres with a  land, where imaginations can soar.
          screen is framed by matching draw  Cinema 2, formed by taking space from  The small town of Hokitika has a
          curtains. The former back stalls under  a former shop or underused areas, not  Regent theatre and also supports
          the balcony is now a meeting room.   one of the saved theatres had used  Crooked Mile Talking Movies, set up
                                            Australia's 1970s approach of creating
            If required, the screen (the largest                               by the projectionist at the Regent.
                                            a twin cinema by walling off the stalls
          roll-up in NZ) can be hoisted to the                                 Michael has converted a former bank
                                            from the balcony. The groups that
          ceiling. This opens up the  auditorium                               building into an attractive 50-seat,
                                            wanted these theatres needed stage-
          to its original size and original                                    stadium style cinema. Gloomy Sunday a
                                            space, not two cinemas.
          proscenium. A thrust stage has been                                  German film was imported on DVD by
          added for live performance.          The bio-boxes in the older and  a Christchurch entrepreneur, and
                                            smaller theatres confirmed that in
            Technically this auditorium seats                                  Crooked Mile has done well with it.
                                            sympathetic hands old equipment can
          870 in its full version. Alternatively, the
                                            be coaxed along indefinitely.
          live performance on the thrust stage can
                                            Kalee projectors were prominent
          have the audience clustered around it.
                                            (especially the model 19 and a GK 37),
          Most of the time the theatre runs in its
                                            as were Simplex and Kinotron.
          cinema format.
                                               Some sound heads had red LED
                                            readers, and one was on mono sound.
                                            Although most used xenon lamps,
                                            carbons were also on the job.
                                               One surprise was the continued
                                            relevance of the single screen on the
                                            west coast, where the scenery is a
                                            magnet for international visitors.
                                            Queenstown has a triple, but the cinema
          Regent, Hokitika. Steel trusses (rear,  at Te Anau, the gateway to Milford
          over projection room) stabilize the interior.  Sound, is a recent single-screen in tilt-
                                                                               Foyer installation at the Academy
          Image: Mel Elliott.               slab construction. Extensions to this
                                                                               Cinema, Dunedin
          10  2006 CINEMARECORD
   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15