Work un­der way to re­open Maidment Theatre

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

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.

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