The proposed cinema: The cinema will have 30 seats and will be located at 659 Pollen Street Thames. It doesn't include the old lighting shop - just the old electrical servicing shop. The cinema will be able to show the latest movies as it will have DCP (digital cinema projection) projector. The owner (David) aims to screen 18 movies per week, during the daytime and evenings. He envisages screening movies to cater for all ages and tastes in our community, but not gratuitously violent ones. He'd also like to set up a film club for people interested in quirky and foreign films, with an evening and daytime screening each week of these films.
David would like the cinema to be a comforting and welcoming space, and for it to be visually interesting as well. There will be some armchairs, but conventional cinema seats too. All seats will be comfortable.
The cinema will have a high-quality ventilation, heating and cooling system, and will include facilities for people with physical disabilities and hearing impairment.
People will be able to purchase a glass of wine, beer, bubbles and similar; a range of nice non-alcoholic drinks, tea, machine coffee (or bring a barista one from a local cafe) and finger foods, ice creams and snacks. There will be a small courtyard out the back if people would like to meet there before a movie. Some screenings will come with morning or afternoon tea.
Where it's up to: David was granted building consent in mid-August to set the cinema up. Major steps required to set it up include: Fitting out the building - kitchen counter/foyer, seating/screening area, toilets, etc. Electrical and plumbing work Electronics and ventilation installation Getting a liquor licence and food registration Lots of finishing (e.g., floor coverings, painting, hanging curtains, fitting seats) Sign-off to ensure everything is compliant and safe.
Other achievements to date have been: Purchasing the building Obtaining fire, accessibility, emergency lighting, ventilation and acoustic reports Sourcing the projector, other electronic equipment, seats, speakers and screen Engaging an expert cinema equipment installer
David hopes to open the cinema by April 2024
About David: David says he's had a colourful Life. Before moving to Thames to live with his partner in August 2022, he: Worked as a policy adviser for various government departments in Wellington for 18 years (and London for two), with the last eight years mostly working from home in Whanganui. Was president of the Whanganui Film Society for three years. Cycled across Europe (from England to Turkey via the north of Holland) in 2013, with additional sections in Portugal, Spain, France and Scotland. Studied an eclectic mix of arts subjects at university. lived in Golden Bay before going to university.
David says he's drawn to opening a small cinema because he loves movies and hosting people. He'd like the cinema to bring some lightness and joy to people, and for it to be a place where people meet each other and have a nice time out in Thames.
How you can help: David is going to be very busy working to develop the cinema until about March 2024, so hold-off from trying to engage him about movies you'd like to see, or employment or similar, until then.
However, if you are part of a group or organisation that you think would like to attend the cinema on a regular bassis, or use it for some other purpose, consider writing to David to say so. David needs to obtain some finance to complete the project and letters of support could be very helpful for that. David can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please use this contact form only for communication as outlined above. Thank You.
What's involved in setting up a wee cinema? (just the major steps)
Find out what is needed for it to be legal
Designer compiles plans and specifications for building consent
Fire engineer's report (including accessibiilty design) to ensure people are safe and can access the building
Emergency lighting design
Accoustic engineer's design (to ensure outside noise and inside reverberations don't drown out the movie)
Ventilation engineer's design (to ensure the cinema will be warm in winter, cool in summer and that the air is fresh)
Acquire fancy digital projector and associated electronics (from closed Picton cinema, although it's coming from Gore)
Acquire surround sound speakers (from closed Tokoroa cinema and Cambridge)
Acquire (some) seats (from former Hastings Town Hall), armchairs to be added
Expert projector installer and servicer engaged (who will also supply the screen and is providing lots of technical advice)
Fit out building - build kitchen/counter/foyer, seating/screening area, toilets etc.