New life for old cinema

Last updated 05:00 11/03/2010
Jamie Selkirk

REELING AGAIN: Jamie Selkirk is excited that renovation work has finally started on Miramar's old Capitol theatre.

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The Wellingtonian

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Miramar's old Capitol cinema is finally getting an extensive makeover.

Seven years after Oscar-winning film editor Jamie Selkirk bought the theatre, construction is under way.

While excited work on the building has started, Selkirk is disappointed to be six months behind schedule.

"We're demolishing most of the building, but we are keeping the facade and want to extend it [the building] a couple of metres each side.

"The council has been very supportive, but getting consent takes longer than you think."

When it opens, the theatre will have a cinema with a high-quality 3D-capable screen, a restaurant, bar and large kitchen so staff can provide catering.

"It's going to be really something," said Selkirk.

"It's going to have a good-sized cafe and a good-sized bar so you can come and have a drink after work. People can come to the cinema to eat, but of course we would like the cinema to be the main attraction.

"We want to make a cinema everyone can be proud of. It's going to be the place to be."

He said Weta Workshop was working on a 1930s concept for the inside.

Selkirk bought the cinema in 2003 with Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor, but they were too busy to work on its restoration.

Jackson and Taylor are no longer involved, but Selkirk has found a new team of investors and hopes the cinema will be open by Christmas.

Tania Rodgers, Richard Taylor's partner, is involved with the renovations; Ian McDonald and Sandra Kisby from the Penthouse will help run the cinema; Cafe Polo's Valentina Dias will manage the restaurant; and the Hawthorn Lounge's Jonny McKenzie will run the bar.

The cinema will screen mainly art-house films.

"It's good to have the Penthouse involved. It means they can bring films and they'll be shown here," he said.

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