Work under way to reopen Maidment Theatre
Workers are frantically restoring the fire-damaged Maidment Theatre in an attempt to have it reopened within six months, event manager Ian Crowe says.
The University of Auckland theatre on Alfred St was shut down after a light set the main stage curtain alight early last month.
The fire spread into the ceiling space where much of the lighting and electrical equipment for the theatre was housed.
Mr Crowe says there was extensive damage to the theatre, much of which was caused by smoke.
‘‘Because the theatre is quite well sealed it contained a lot of the smoke, so it intensified,’’ he says.
‘‘The fire service had a problem when they actually went in there because they couldn’t see anything at all because of the amount of smoke.’’
Part of the stage must be repaired, curtains need to be replaced and the carpets cleaned.
In addition, the smokedamaged electronics must be washed and checked for safety.
‘‘We are bringing it up to the state it was in previously and it looks like we can do that quicker than we thought,’’ Mr Crowe says.
He estimates the Maidment Theatre, and its adjoining theatre the Musgrove Studio will be open before October.
He is unable to discuss the financial repercussions of the fire, but as the theatre books shows nearly a year in advance many productions have been displaced.
‘‘Hopefully if we are opening early we can make sure that those shows come back.’’
No access: The Maidment Theatre remains closed while workers make repairs following a significant fire last month.