Happiness is a new arthouse cinema
Christchurch could have a new three-screen arthouse cinema by Christmas.
Cinema owner Rodney Cook has leased space in The Colombo shopping mall in Sydenham and hopes to open in a matter of months.
Cook lost the Metro Gold cinema near Cathedral Square in the February 2011 earthquake and has been evicted from the Academy and Cloisters cinemas at the quake-damaged Arts Centre.
The Canterbury quakes hit the arthouse movie scene hard, with the Rialto in Moorhouse Ave closing, the Regent on Worcester near Cathedral Square demolished and Cook's three cinemas out of action.
Cook said he was thrilled to be back in business. "It is very exciting. We have the plans drawn up and all the trades are ready to go. We are jumping for joy," he said.
"I would wake up every day missing our cinemas and wishing we could get them back. I think it is time to return and try to be part of the recovery.
"When you lose your business it is a pretty horrible feeling. We have got some happiness back into our life."
The cinema will take 410 square metres of the former Payless Plastics site.
Cook planned to sign an eight-year lease, with three rights of renewal.
The new cinema, which is being funded by insurance money, will be all digital, with no traditional 35-millimetre projectors. It will have 70-seat, 50-seat and 40-seat cinemas.
A new 38-seat arthouse cinema will also open at Alice in Videoland in Tuam St in about three weeks. It is being built in a space at the back of the movie rental store.