by Pete Petterson
I'm a writer blogger who has been resident in the Hutt Valley since the late 1960's. I'm a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I have seen many people come and go over the years, seen many things good and bad. Time to remember whanau
The Hollywood 3 Cinema in the seaside suburb of Sumner in Christchurch City, New Zealand, has been forced to close down
immediately after an engineers report revealed structural damage after the earthquakes in recent years.
The cinema reportedly opened in 1938 as a single cinema with the movie "Wings of the Morning" starring heartthrob movie legend Tyrone Power. The cinema twinned in 1976 and tripled in 1999. It is the only suburban cinema in Christchurch still standing and operating after 75 years.
The three cinemas at present can seat 169, 60 and 108 patrons respectively, and two of the cinemas have luxury seating areas.
As a boy growing up in Christchurch in the 1950's and 1960's, I remember the cinemas throughout the city and in nearly every major suburb. The Saturday morning pictures showing episodes of many exciting serials were popular with kids like me.
Christchurch's last suburban cinema, or picture theatre as they were then called, has been deemed unsafe and will close this very week for restructural work.
The cinema owner, Lang Masters, who with his wife has run the cinema for more than 50 years, was ordered by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) to close down and have urgent alterations made to the building because of safety concerns. They had survived since the first major earthquake in 2010, the killer quake of 2011 and subsequent shakes and about 12,000 aftershocks in subsequent years. The cinema closed for only one day in 2013.
It is now in the hands of the building's owner and insurance company to arrange the steel restructuring work necessary.
The Italian Film Festival 2013 director Tony Lambert hasn't given up the ghost yet. He will be seeking an alternative venue in Christchurch to hold the festival. The Hollywood 3 Cinema has welcomed many national and international film festivals over many years.