Theatre revamp gets go-ahead with grant

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 09/08/2012
The Globe Theatre
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IMAGINE: An artist’s impression shows how the new Globe development will fit alongside Te Manawa.

The Globe Theatre
WARWICK SMITH/Fairfax NZ
DRAMATIC PLAN: From left, Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor, Globe Theatre Trust Board chairman Stephen Fisher and project programmer Katherine Stannard check plans for the rebuild.

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The Globe Theatre redevelopment is on track to go ahead early next year after receipt of a $500,000 Lotteries Community Facilities grant.

Along with a budget of more than $830,000 from the Palmerston North City Council and a Globe Theatre Trust Board fundraising campaign about to be launched, the estimated $1.8m pricetag is within reach.

Project programmer Katherine Stannard said the plan was to let the contract in November so work could begin promptly after Christmas.

The project would complete a long-term council desire to see the Main St West area developed into a cultural precinct.

Board chairman Stephen Fisher said he was delighted, but could hardly believe that the project was taking shape at last.

The makeover has been delayed three times in seven years, and it took a concerted effort from supporters to ensure it was not dropped from the council's Annual Plan again this year.

The redevelopment includes a glassed-in, cafe-bar area to seat about 50 people on the central city side of the theatre that will also serve Te Manawa, which has no such facility. The other part is a 100-seat, flat-floor, intimate, versatile auditorium extending out towards Pitt St.

The board aims to raise a further $500,000 for the fitout of the facilities, including improvements to the foyer that would overcome issues with deferred maintenance.

Mr Fisher said what he called "the best little theatre in the country" was operating at capacity, especially from Thursdays to Saturdays, and particularly during the busy second half of the year.

Regular users were "unhappy, but prepared to cope" with the six-month close-down for the rebuild next year.

The reopening in July would involve a welcome home festival.

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- Manawatu Standard

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