Majestic Theatre demo holds up traffic
ABBIE NAPIER AND MARC GREENHILL
Should the Majestic Theatre be saved or demolished?
About 30 protesters have held up traffic as they march on the Majestic Theatre in an effort to save it from demolition.
Protest organiser Ross Gray, deputy chairman of Historic Places Canterbury, has campaigned to save the theatre since it was marked for demolition to make way for the widening of Manchester St.
Protesters received honks of support from passing traffic as they marched down Colombo St chanting "hands off the Majestic". The group was briefly joined by construction workers from nearby sites.
The Christchurch Wizard, who was joined on the march by his two deputy wizards, let off firecrackers from the end of his staff in the shadow of the Majestic.
The future of the 1930s-era building - the city's first fully steel-framed building - has been in doubt since its inclusion in the Christchurch Central Development Unit's (CCDU) street-widening plans for Manchester St.
It was also subject to a Section 45 notice, meaning it was considered a dangerous building.
However, Gray said engineering reports he had seen showed the extent of the damage "varied greatly".
Traffic could veer around the Majestic if Manchester St was widened.
He said the building had both heritage value and value as a performing arts space. "There's virtually nothing of that stature left in town, and certainly nothing from that 1930s [era]," he said.
A CCDU spokesman said a contract for the demolition had been awarded and it was expected preparation for work would begin "over the next couple of weeks".
- The Press
How do you feel about the city's first anchor project, the Avon River Precinct?Related story: Vision of city by the water