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Capture: Cinema Scoped

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  • JacksonP,

    Thanks for this Geoff.

    My first cinema experience was in the Opotiki Deluxe Theatre, so this has a special resonance for me. I think it might have been Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but as it was when I was about 6, I honestly can't quite recall.

    The other cinema of significance was the Whakatane theatre, now called 'Flicks'. King Kong and The Fog both come to mind, at an age when lack of exposure to any larger than life depiction of monsters or thriller plots had me chewing a hole in the knee of my trousers, and having nightmares of a giant Kong climbing in the window.

    Good times.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2448 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Nice one Geoff! Fascinating subject.

    My memories of being a young person in Chch are of all the cinemas ringing the Square, with lights blazing in their enormous and rather grand foyers. Going to the movies was a proper night out, worth dressing up for. People arrived early, and stood around chatting excitedly, and finding their friends among the crowd.

    Seeing a movie was a social event, and very different to watching the 10" black-and-white TV at home!

    I like the very sociable feel of some of these smaller cinemas you've photographed.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Good work Geoff.

    I'm curious about the Dunedin cinemas, particularly the Rialto. I'm pretty sure it wasn't there when I lived in Dunedin.

    I had lots of good times in the Metro town hall. But I think film festival films in the Regent Theatre had to be the best - something about the sheer grandness of the venue multiplied the cinematic magic 10-fold.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    Full marks Geoff, your comments numbers may top those of Murray Cammick’s “Flash Cars” reprise on Capture. Every one has been to the movies!

    For me the Balmoral Capitol and Oruru Swamp Palace are ones where many hours were spent from school day matinees, “Animal House” to arthouse (Cap’). The Capitol photo just invites you to walk in.

    Richard Weatherly (International Film Fest. director prior to B. Gosden) ran the Swamp Palace for approx ten years from the late 90s, and still distributes arthouse via Cinevista and Aust. Antidote films to some of the cinemas you describe. Kaitaia only reinstated a cinema last year–Te Ahu, a steeply seated ex dramatic theatre.

    Note: Jan Grefstad of Avondale Hollywood and Classic Cinema fame (and some infamy) wrote an illustrated work, as far as I am aware unpublished due to his death, called “Auckland Cinemas” which could well complement your efforts if turned up.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan Ganley,

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    “Your Suburban Cinema Showcase” … The Crystal Palace on Mt Eden Rd. Not a lot going on there at the moment, although I have heard the interior and fittings are still very original, with a kauri floor. The cinema was also a music venue at different times over the years … but that’s another story.

    Since Dec 2006 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Jonathan Ganley,

    I always feel so sad when I'm going past there. Surely someone somewhere could make it work?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Thanks, folks. Seeing this goes some way towards assuaging my disgruntled morning, after queuing outside the Waikato Stadium from 7.40am to 10am, only to miss out on tickets for the Super 15 final on Saturday. Curse those greedy buggers with their stream of 10 tickets!

    Must check out the Crystal Palace in Mt. Eden. Feel free to add comments too on the http://cinemasofnz.info site (I chose 'info' to make it clear that is a non-commercial venture)

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Nora Leggs,

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    What a nice and varied batch of cinemas – makes you want to go out for the cinema experience.

    Jonathan beat me to it – but here is the detail – entrances to the offices that sandwich the cinema, and the cinema entrance, that sign does look rather sad above such lovely doors.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 2692 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Ah, The Lab. A studio so important that people have been known to run people over to get to.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Geoff, great photos. Would you know what theatre I went to as a child? Probably a first memory of going to the theatre for me would be of Shirley Temple matinees on a Saturday afternoon somewhere near Papanui in Chch. Where would it be? It would have been circa 1969.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Alec Morgan,

    For me the Balmoral Capitol and Oruru Swamp Palace are ones where many hours were spent from school day matinees,

    I have the pleasure of actually living near both of those. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

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    A few photos of the Civic Theatre, yes I know not movies but , but….

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Thanks, Sofie. Indeed I have tickets for Hitchcock's Blackmail , with orchestra, at the Civic on Sunday.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

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    Indeed I have tickets for Hitchcock’s Blackmail , with orchestra, at the Civic on Sunday.

    Well then…

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I’m curious about the Dunedin cinemas, particularly the Rialto. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there when I lived in Dunedin.

    Rialto was extensively redone inside and reopened... maybe 10 or 12 years ago? It's now 6 screens inside, and mixes up blockbusters (4 screens) and film festival (2 screens with about 50 seats in each) types of movie. Some of the original interior has been retained in it's original form. Great big seats with lots of leg room as well.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Thanks, Kyle, but:

    maybe 10 or 12 years ago

    That would be about the time I was starting my life in China. I certainly don't remember a Rialto when I lived in Dunedin. Where is it? That doorway looks both impressive and a little familiar.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Memory - the illusion of movement....

    Shirley Temple matinees on a Saturday afternoon somewhere near Papanui in Chch. Where would it be?

    That would have been the Barclay (1965-75) originally The Empire and a Hall before that
    It was at the top junction of Papanui & Harewood roads and Main North Rd (I think) I also think the trams used to terminate near there too - some more history.

    I went to a few pics there, and in Edgeware, Barrington St, Sydenham, Brighton as well as the Square (plus Odeon and Majestic) - lotsa dodgy 'Uncles' compereing matinees - aah Saturday afternoons (and some mornings) flicker.. flicker...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    lotsa dodgy ‘Uncles’ compereing matinees – aah Saturday afternoons

    Probably . I remember some guy used to come on the stage at intermission. I remember the ice creams, and I remember Shirley Temple. One cool chick. I had great fun :)
    Thanks for that Ian, It was the Barclay!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I had forgotten a lot of those theatres until I followed that link. The Cinerama was awe-inspiring. I saw the Omen there when I was mid to late teens: horror films are not my thing and the wraparound screen was terrifying. The man was searching the boy’s hair for the numbers on the lad’s scalp. One six appeared, another six. Then … “it’s a seven” someone bellowed, and the whole theatre roared with laughter. My father never forgot seeing Tora Tora Tora with the kamikaze fighters coming straight for him – he loved the place..

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

    The man was searching the boy’s hair for the numbers on the lad’s scalp. One six appeared, another six. Then … “it’s a seven” someone bellowed, and the whole theatre roared with laughter.

    Sometimes the audience has dramas of its own. I remember going to a quiet session of a Festival showing of Aki Kaurismaki’s Drifting Clouds , and a man in the audience laughing. A woman turned around and said, “ Do you mind?!!
    He, startled, said, “But it’s meant to be a comedy!”
    “Don’t be ridiculous !!” She hissed back.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Hebe,

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    My father never forgot seeing Tora Tora Tora with the kamikaze fighters coming straight for him – he loved the place..

    One of my Super 8 collection. The abridged version, of course. ;-)

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2448 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to JacksonP,

    Cool! It was a long movie.

    Hey what about a thread gathering the most memorable scenes people remember from a movie at a particular theatre? Mine would have to be the Regent in the Square in 1978 or 79: Carrie; When, just as we we all shuffling our bags and putting on coats, bam! The bloody forearm reaches out of the empty ground and grabs .... The entire theatre froze.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Hebe,

    ... and complete strangers grabbed hold of you. Another one would be the 'revelation' scene in The Crying Game. Or further back, to Pyscho,

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Probably the most shocking: "She is my sister and my daughter" in Polanski's wonderful Chinatown.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Hebe,

    Hey what about a thread gathering the most memorable scenes people remember from a movie at a particular theatre?

    No reason why we can't do that here.

    Mine would be coming from Whakatane to Auckland and seeing Battlestar Galactica in Sensurround at The Civic. About 1978 I think. The scale of the cinema itself was daunting, as I recall this was before the two parts were joined, and the seats shaking as the ships came into view was pretty exciting for a 10 year old. Just reading about it now, I didn't realise this was a TV pilot re-edited for the cinema. Bit of a story behind it, apparently. Cashng in on the Star Wars hooplah.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2448 posts Report Reply

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