The historic Devonport cinema The Vic turns 100 years old today.
The Vic is the oldest purpose-built cinema in the southern hemisphere and has enjoyed continuous use by movie lovers.
But what's next for "the grand old lady"?
While her supporters will be enjoying the celebrations and fun at the 100th Birthday Bash in Devonport, many of them will also be considering the next big challenge the theatre faces.
Most of the cinemas in the western world have already made the change from 35 millimetre film projectors to digital projectors and from late 2013 the major film studios will not even be producing 35mm film prints.
For independent cinemas like The Vic, going digital is an expensive process.
The new projectors cost around $80,000 each and often screens and speakers have to be upgraded to fit in with the new format.
The Vic has to keep up with the latest developments to survive, just as it did in the 1920s when talkies pushed out silent movies.
The 100th Birthday Bash celebrations on tomorrow will kick off a fundraising campaign to raise money for the digital conversion.
During the day schools from the area will perform items at The Vic mirroring children's involvement in the opening in October 1912.
That night a great line-up of musicians will put on a concert that features some great old-time music from 1912 and the 1930s, together with the very best of Devonport talent including Rikki Morris, Paul Ego, Debbie Harwood, Wire and Wood, and 2012 music award winners Five Mile Town and Alex Taylor.
The Victoria Theatre Trust is also applying to major funding organisations for the digital conversion. It hopes that strong support from North Shore people will show that The Vic is still a powerful symbol of what a community can achieve.
Tickets for the bash are available from thevic.co.nz for $25.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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