Hospitality extension for Regent
For years, Munchkins Confectionery occupied number 51 Broadway. Although empty for some time now, the small retail space right next door to the Regent on Broadway still smells chocolatey.
It’s thanks to this vacancy that the shop’s much larger neighbour is about to get slightly bigger.
Yes, it’s an absorption. Here is where a new hospitality area including a theatre bar is being developed. The City Council, which owns the whole building, has agreed to lease the former confectioners to the Regent On Broadway Trust so the foyer space can be upgraded and enlarged.
Regent on Broadway manager Charles Forbes says when it opens, hopefully in May in time for Massey graduation, theatre foyer congestion should be a thing of the past.
For some time he has been concerned about congestion in the reception area during heavily patronised performances and events.
‘‘When the theatre attracts a large audience, crowding in the refreshment area can compromise the entrances to the auditorium and access to the toilets.’’
The lower foyer is going to be reconfigured so it flows into the former confectionery with access where the theatre patrons’ niche is now.
‘‘It will be refurbished as a hospitality area where theatre-goers can sit, have a drink and chat prior to a show or during the interval. The space will add to the entertainment experience. It will cut down congestion around the auditorium and enable people to relax and socialise.’’
The design and de´cor of the snug new bar will be in keeping with the style of the theatre’s grand foyer.
Charles also has eyes on the possibility of extending hospitality seating and tables outside onto the paved area fronting Broadway, similar to the set-up at Auckland’s Civic Theatre. He is already looking to name the new hospitality space, and is inviting suggestions from the public.
‘‘If you’ve got an idea for what it should be called, let us know.’’
Since reopening in 1998, the 1393-seat theatre hit the one million patron mark in 2006, with 1,877,874 people attending as at the end of 2015.
Regent on Broadway manager Charles Forbes outlines plans for taking over the retail space next door to the theatre’s main entrance as a hospitality venue.