Globe Theatre on track for May opening night

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 09:00 25/01/2014

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Behind the cordon fences blocking access to Te Manawa's front door, builders are setting the stage for the May re-opening of Palmerston North's revamped Globe Theatre.

The $2.1 million project includes a new 100-seat flat floor auditorium at the Pitt St end of the building, a new entrance foyer with management office and toilets, and a cafe-bar.

Globe Theatre Trust Board chairman Stephen Fisher said it was a great pleasure to see the building taking shape after several years of planning and delays.

"I had some initial concern that we were going to hide the shape of a building that has been an icon, but we put our trust in the architect, and the design is very clever."

Palmerston North City Council project manager Rob Cuff said the rebuild was going well, with the foundations for the additions laid, the auditorium taking shape, and framing up for the new foyer facilities.

The only blip so far had been discovering the need for extra strengthening of the old Green Room floor, and an extra backstage hallway had been added to the plans, but Mr Cuff was confident the project would still finish on time and within budget.

Having engaged the original designer and builders of the 30-year-old community theatre, Brian Elliott and McMillan and Lockwood, had limited the potential for unwanted surprises.

Mr Cuff said the builders would still be on site as the trust moved in to furnish and refurbish the public parts of the complex in April.

Mr Warwick said the calendar of events to celebrate the re-opening in May was filling fast. The first would be the Manawatu Theatre Society's return to its home theatre with the production of Calendar Girls.

The schedule would dovetail into the Manawatu Jazz and Blues festival at Queen's Birthday weekend, and continue with Angela Ayers' tribute to Linda Ronstadt, and eight weeks of community group performances.

Fundraising is still under way to complete the fit-out of the project, which has been paid for by the Palmerston North City Council and a range of sponsors.

Mr Fisher said the trust was two-thirds of the way toward its $300,000 target, but hoped to raise even more to pay for extras such as refreshing the dressing rooms, new signage and foyer furniture.

Palmerston North supporters can still find ways to contribute, such as paying for a seat, at globetheatre.co.nz

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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