Cinema's latest battle hi-tech

CARLY THOMAS
Last updated 12:00 05/08/2014

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Taihape's Majestic Theatre is a tough old girl; almost demolished 15 years ago before being saved by a dedicated bunch of residents.

The cinema now operates three days a week.

But times change, as does technology, and theatre manager Simone Simpson said it was time to go digital. A big fundraising appeal will be needed to gain the $70,000 necessary.

"It is starting to get really hard now to get the good films. Everything is being phased out towards going totally digital, it's the way we have to go to keep up."

A fundraiser has been launched by the Taihape Heritage Trust, putting a call out for farmers to donate the proceeds from a lamb or ewe at the time of sale.

Simpson said it was hard to ask for money but the Majestic really needed community support.

"I am a farmer's wife and Taihape is a great rural community.

"We are asking farmers to say to their stock agents, ‘put that one on the Majestic's account'. We think our theatre is a worthy cause."

Taihape Heritage Trust chairwoman Gail Larsen said a $10,000 Powerco grant was a great start.

She fought for the Majestic when it was threatened with demolition in the past and she is willing to fight again.

"They were here to do it and we got out there and made a racket and we stopped it. Now it's a heritage building and it can't be touched. There are lots of people that have gotten behind the theatre and fought for it. We can do it again."

Simpson said it was all about teamwork.

"We have to be proactive, you can't afford to sit back. We know we can do this with everyone's help."

The Majestic Theatre screens films three times a week and has been hired out by schools, drama and music groups.

For details on how you can help go to majestictheatre.co.nz.

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- Manawatu Standard

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