Old cinema seats seek good home

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

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