Historic arcade a star awaiting a makeover

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 11/02/2014
quinns arcade
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ

AGEING STAR: Quinn’s Arcade in Waimate has been surrounded by scaffolding as preparations get under way for a crew shooting a television commercial.

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Waimate's historic Quinn's Arcade will hit Japanese television screens with a crew in the town this week to shoot an advertisement.

Sixty-five crew - 25 Japanese and 40 Kiwis - will be on site from Thursday for the television commercial featuring an energy drink.

Location scout Clayton Tikao spotted the building and worked with Pro-Ject Waimate to organise the shoot.

While most aspects of the shoot, including the cost, were commercially sensitive, Mr Tikao thanked Pro-Ject Waimate.

Pro-Ject Waimate secured ownership of the building for the community in 2007 and is working on a restoration plan with the aim of reopening it to the public. A renewed interest in the building has seen a group of people calling for Pro-Ject Waimate to press ahead with plans to restore the building.

The project slipped under the radar and committee member Sheryl Frew said the group wanted to get the ball rolling again.

The estimated cost to bring the building up to 67 per cent of the earthquake code is $1.5 million and she is confident the group can raise that amount with the help of lottery grants.

The building was closed in 2012 after the Waimate District Council inspected it and raised concerns about its safety. The closure notice has since been removed with a renewed interest in driving the restoration project forward, while using the work already done.

Ms Frew said the group would meet an architect next week to formalise some plans.

It was built in 1906 and is significant nationally as one of the earliest indoor shopping arcades in New Zealand.

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- The Timaru Herald

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