Cinema a no-go

The Victoria Cinema will shut its doors on Sunday, the second cinema in the city to shut down this year.

Event cinema in Centre Place closed in February following the opening of newer cinemas at Chartwell and The Base, making the going tough for central city movie theatres.

The Victoria Cinema was going to be shut down last year but because of strong public support for keeping the boutique theatre open, Richard Dalton, director of the Lido Cinema, decided to lease it on a trial basis.

Six months later he has decided the project is not financially viable.

The cinema needed an estimated 40 customers a day to survive and some days got only six or eight people.

The Lido cinema, which shows mainly arthouse and foreign films, will now be the only movie theatre left in Hamilton city central.

Lido Cinema manager Stewart Putwain said he was sorry to see the Victoria Cinema close.

"Now we are the only cinema left in town we may show more mainstream films," said Mr Putwain.

"But our core product is still arthouse film."

Mr Putwain's wife, Toria, who has also worked at the cinema, said they had tried to keep the cinema open.

"It's been a labour of love," she said.

In a newsletter sent to regular customers, Mr Putwain invited them to farewell the Victoria.

"We hope if you haven't yet been along to see a show at the Vic (or it you are a super regular) that you can make it through this weekend to say goodbye."

The Victoria Cinema was opened in 2002.

The last film to show there will be Dark Shadows at 6.05pm on Sunday.

Kim Laubscher is a Wintec journalism student and also works part time at Lido

Waikato Times