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Wednesday
Sep052018

Pollen Street Buildings Under The Hammer

A meeting of building owners in Pollen Street was told last evening by Council personnel that the inspections for earthquake preparedness are now well under way, and will be completed shortly.

They were told the conditions and requirements that would have to be met to pass, or qualify for delayed approval. Most of the wooden buildings appear likely to pass, but certain buildings with un-reinforced masonry will certainly have severe restrictions applied.

One such is rumoured to be the Embassy Theatre which is apparently 'critical', and likely to require  substantial changes and upgrades if it is to achieve certification.

That is a great shame as David has made huge strides in getting the facility up to 21st century standards, and we have all benefited. It may require a huge community effort to assist him to get up to standard. But in the end, it may well prove to be an uneconomic proposition, as safety is 'bottom-line,' and it may have to be accepted that closure is inevitable.

Finding an alternative facility will be difficult, but surely not impossible. David needs every support we can give him to keep it going - it is the one facility that most of us regard as 'essential' in this town.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (3)

Bill, Yes, the Embassy is going to need truckloads of work to bring it up to code - it might be up to 21st century standards with regard to movie presentation equipment, but other than that its a terrible experience. Walk around it and take a look, your don't have to be an engineer to see how dilapidated the building is, and how structurally unsound the building is. The inside decor is run down, dusty, cold and grim, the seats are uncomfortable and well past their use-by date, and the foyer is unwelcoming and dark. I would hate to be in there when there's an earthquake. However, I can appreciate the historical decorative architecture inside and long history of movies and live theatre in this building. Restoring this building as a cinema / live venue would be a multi-million dollar undertaking and I doubt a private owner would get a suitable return on investment - but they might if the building is developed for different purposes. Council might be convinced by ratepayers to underwrite or fund restoration, but with everything else lined up in the 10yp, and being in private ownership, its probably a building too far. I'd say the best option for the future of movies in Thames is to take the state of the art equipment and head back to Goldfields mall - especially with so many empty shops in there.

September 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter'

I totally agree - you are 'spot-on' with your comments, but I know the effort behind Davids acquisition of the premises, and the fight he had for funding for the equipment. I am sure that there is no way that the building can be upgraded - it is not worth the effort in its current state. The Mall is probably the best option for David - does anyone know the state of the abandoned theatre? It is presumptuous of course for us to be determining his future, but I guess he will welcome all the help he can get. But don't forget that we will all be wading in the Mall eventually! Better than an earthquake though!.
Bill

September 6, 2018 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

The small movie theatres that were in Goldfields Mall were removed when the Lincraft Store and public toilet modifications were undertaken. However I guess the empty shops and other poorly used space in there now could be converted into theatres with some clever architectural thinking?

September 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterWilderpeople

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