Old cinema seats seek good home
The South Waikato Arts Trust is seeking information on the history and value of the leather seats of the Putaruru Plaza.
Following a planned refurbishment of the old time theatre seats the Trust intends to upgrade seats with a newer look.
Trust chairperson Genny Hall said individuals have expressed interest in buying individual seats, while there are potentially 100 seats looking for a new home.
‘‘We have started replacing the upstairs seats and all the originals ( that make up the middle section) and will have to take them out and store them until new ones are ready.
‘‘It will be interesting to see who expresses an interest,’’ Mrs Hall said.
Mrs Hall envisaged the seats remaining in the community for nostalgic purposes.
She added it would be easier for someone in the district to take them as they ‘‘take a bit of carting around.’’
‘‘They are still quite comfortable, some have springs that are a bit…
‘‘But they have arms, they are old time theatre seats, some grey, some red, and are leather.
‘‘There are always theatres looking for them.
‘‘The Matamata theatre got new seats from Te Awamutu who were refurbishing at the time,’’ she said.
Putaruru Plaza manager Nicola Warrington is also calling for more information about the seats.
‘‘The Plaza was built as a cinema back in 1959. I am assuming these could be the original seats, although I could be wrong. At this stage approximately 100 will be available but the trust may wish to use some of the better seats to replace the worst ones until full funding becomes available to replace all of the rear seats.’’
South Waikato District Council regional services manager Richard Fisk confirmed the seats were council property but agreed it would make sense to find a new home for them.
‘‘It would have to be a decision made by a group here at council. ‘‘We would need to know what the offer was and more details about them ( the potential owner)’’, Mr Fisk said.
When asked whether the seats could help to refurbish the South Waikato Sports and Events Centre, Mr Fisk responded: ‘‘No, there is no place for them there.’’
Mrs Hall has been the South Waikato Arts Chairperson for 13 years and is enjoying the popularity the Putaruru Plaza has seen in the past couple of years.