Wrecking ball going ahead for Majestic

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 04/04/2014
Majestic Theatre
Fairfax NZ
NO REPRIEVE: Demolition of the Majestic Theatre is to go ahead.

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Demolition of the Majestic Theatre will go ahead despite the Christchurch City Council considering a final bid to save the building.

Councillors at the earthquake recovery committee meeting yesterday voted to seek an urgent meeting with the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) to discuss the theatre's fate after Historic Places Canterbury deputy chairman Ross Gray pleaded for a last-ditch attempt to save it.

The future of the 1930s-era building - the city's first fully steel-framed building - has been in doubt since its inclusion in the CCDU's plans for Manchester St.

It has subsequently been issued with a section 38 notice by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera), which means it considers the building dangerous and that it needs to be demolished.

However, Cera implementation deputy chief executive Warwick Isaacs told The Press the demolition process was under way.

The views of the council and New Zealand Historic Places Trust views had been considered, he said.

"The decision to demolish Majestic House was reached after careful consideration of issues including the needs of the recovery, the requirements of the Christchurch central recovery plan, the state of the building and the feasibility of a full or partial repair," Isaacs said.

The council's last-ditch effort to save the Majestic comes as it lodges a submission on the draft heritage buildings and places recovery programme for Christchurch, which has been prepared by the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage.

In its submission, the council says while it welcomes the preparation of the programme, it has taken too long and is "too little too late".

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- The Press

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