Final curtain set to fall at Movieland

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 05:00 05/11/2011

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The Movieland cinema in Hornby is closing after 20 years in business.

The independent cinema will close on November 18 to make way for expansion plans at The Hub Hornby shopping mall.

The closure comes as Christchurch faces a shortage of cinema screens after the February earthquake closed the Hoyts cinema in Moorhouse Ave, Reading The Palms cinema, the Rialto and the Regent on Worcester off Cathedral Square.

The Academy, Cloisters and Metro Gold cinemas in the city centre have also been closed since the quake.

Cinema manager James Falloon said trade at the Movieland was 30 to 40 per cent stronger than the same time last year.

However, the three-screen cinema had to make way for "progress". "Christchurch has lost a lot of cinemas recently and in that respect this has been the best time and the worst. It doesn't feel too great. There is never a good time to close a cinema. It is always sad closing down cinemas," he said.

The closure means redundancy for four fulltime and eight part-time staff at the cinema. Hub centre manager Jason Marsden said the cinema had to be demolished to make way for an expansion of retail space from 17,000 square metres to 22,000sqm at the Hub. "It is a nice little theatre but unfortunately the old omelette saying holds true here," he said.

Cinemagoers can take heart with the reopening of one of Christchurch's biggest multiplex cinemas. The Reading cinema at The Palms shopping centre will reopen on Wednesday, November 16, just two days before the Movieland cinema closes.

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- The Press

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