Movie star behind Loons fundraising
British film star Emily Blunt has lent her support to a fundraising campaign for the rebuild of the Loons theatre in Lyttelton.
The star of Young Victoria and The Devil Wears Prada has become patron of the campaign to raise $600,000 for the new theatre.
"What a complete nightmare. I am so sorry your lovely community was shattered with the quake. I would be happy to help by lending my name," Blunt said in a statement from Los Angeles.
The Loons theatre survived the December and February earthquakes last year, but was badly damaged in the June quake.
Loons artistic director Mike Friend said $400,000 had already been raised for the repair and strengthening work, but a further $200,000 was needed for the refit.
Friend said he was thrilled Blunt had agreed to become the theatre's patron. He taught Blunt for two years at a British drama school and also worked with her on a production at the Edinburgh Festival in 1999.
"This is great news. It is good for all of us. It is good for the theatre company and the Loons and for Lyttelton," Friend said.
The new Loons will be a "community arts centre" with a bar in the basement of the building.
"We want to open on September 7. That is when the performers are coming back," he said.
The refit will create more space in the performance area by moving the toilets downstairs and raising the roof above the stage to cater for aerial circus performances.
Fundraising has already attracted $250,000 from the Mayoralty Fund, $85,000 from the Todd Foundation and $65,000 from the earthquake fund administered by the prime minister.
Blunt's patronage comes after The Court Theatre secured British actor Maggie Smith as a patron for its fundraising efforts.
- © Fairfax NZ News