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amidst elaborate scroll work above both boxes. At
          the Civic, Shakespeare gazes from the centre of the
          proscenium and his words ‘To hold as’t were The
          Mirror Up to Nature,’ flow out around it.
            Beautiful though it is, the layout of the Isaac
          Theatre Royal shows up the inherent weakness (for
          much of the audience) of the twin balcony design:
          only patrons in the first rows of the stalls, those in
          the ‘golden horseshoe’ and those in the front rows of
          the upper circle can see and appreciate all of the
          lavish décor around them.
            From the next phase of great theatre construction
          the Regent Dunedin, from J.C. Williamson Ltd.,
          deserves greater recognition in Australia. If the
          capital city Regents of Williamson-Hoyts in
          Australia were the kings of cinema style, then this
          one is a true queen.
            Smaller than its Australian counterparts,
          Dunedin architects Miller and White mastered all
          the rules for a Regent and played a riff on the style
          perfected by Ballantyne and Charles Hollinshed.
          Much of the plaster, the balustrades and the
          craftsmanship in the back board of the last row of
          the stalls, were first seen in Australia in the Regent,
          South Yarra (1925) but here they are freshly
            In the main cities the multiplex rules.
          Fortunately NZ has recycled much building stock in
          preference to tearing it down, and thanks to the
          efforts of the evangelical churches, some fine
          buildings have continued to provide audiences with
          emotional involvement.
            The Assembly of God, which has moved out of
          the Odeon in Tuan Street Christchurch, at least
          prolonged the life of a theatre with links to the
          Fuller brothers, and a Save The Odeon Committee
          has set out to secure its future.
            The City New Life Church is restoring their
          home, the former Majestic, Christchurch. With
          congregations of 600 or so each service, and an
          emphasis on the role of art in spirituality, their
          changes are enhancing a fascinating building.
            In smaller towns many theatres survive from the
          days of Kerridge Odeon and the Amalgamated
          Theatres chains. Usually these buildings date from
          the mid-1930s and their designs reflect the
          ascendancy of the art deco influence.  Most are still
          single screen, but in auditoriums modified for
          smaller audience numbers or for a mix of live
          performance and films.
            On the west coast, where the livelihood for the
          townsfolk is as much tourism as primary industry,
          cinemas have moved boldly with the times.

                                Three images from top:
                       Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
               The complexity of detail is reserved for the stage
             surrounds, not the sidewalls. Source: Mike Trickett.
             Familiar yet different: Rear stalls Regent, Dunedin.
                     Lounge patrons enter over the stalls on a
                      cross aisle, then ascend to the balcony.
                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2006     7
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