Fu­ture un­cer­tain for Cin­ema Gold

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH -

Palmer­ston North film buffs are wor­ried the cred­its may be about to roll for the city’s only bou­tique cin­ema.

The Down­town Cin­e­mas com­plex, which in­cludes Cin­ema Gold and com­plexes in Have­lock North and Para­pa­raumu, was bought by Aus­tralian com­pany Event Hospi­tal­ity and En­ter­tain­ment in June. After the sale was an­nounced, con­cerns started to emerge about the pos­si­bil­ity of the two Cin­ema Gold the­atres be­ing shut down.

Opened in 2003, the smaller cin­e­mas are li­censed to sell al­co­hol, con­tain larger seats, do not sell pop­corn and show mainly in­de­pen­dent, for­eign and fes­ti­val films.

Palmer­ston North Film So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Rik Howes said he un­der­stood the new own­ers were clos­ing the Cin­ema Gold site, lo­cated on the ground floor of the Down­town Shop­ping Cen­tre, from Wed­nes­day. He said it was pos­si­bly mov­ing back into the main cin­ema com­plex. No-one from Event Cin­e­mas was able to con­firm if it was to be closed or moved.

Down­town Cin­e­mas man­ager Paul Wood said he was un­able to com­ment at this time. Down­town Shop­ping Cen­tre direc­tor Bill Wal­lace, the for­mer chair­man of Down­town Cin­e­mas, said Event had given no­tice it would be leav­ing the Cin­ema Gold space in Au­gust.

Wal­lace said he was con­fi­dent Cin­ema Gold’s style of film would still be avail­able at Down­town. ’’My clear un­der­stand­ing is that those kind of films will still be shown at the main cin­ema com­plex.’’

There was a long tra­di­tion of show­ing art house and film fes­ti­val fare at the com­plex, he said. Howes said the change of own­er­ship had yet to af­fect the Film So­ci­ety, which met at the cin­ema com­plex each Wed­nes­day, but things were up for ne­go­ti­a­tion in three months.

‘‘We’ve got a con­tract that runs un­til the end of Novem­ber, so I’ve been as­sured we’re safe for the rest of the year.’’

This meant the 2016 In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val would go ahead in a fort­night.

Howes said it would be sad to see Cin­ema Gold go as the ma­jor­ity of So­ci­ety mem­bers and Cin­ema Gold-go­ers were 40 plus and pre­ferred art house and fes­ti­val films over block­busters.

If Down­town Cin­e­mas stopped show­ing that style of films reg­u­larly, the near­est al­ter­na­tive was Feild­ing’s Fo­cal Point Cin­ema, though older mem­bers could find it dif­fi­cult to make the trip there, Howes said.

The last film cur­rently sched­uled on the Cin­ema Gold web­site is Rams, an Ice­landic com­edy about two brothers feud­ing over a sheep farm in a re­mote val­ley, which is show­ing at 7.20pm on Wed­nes­day.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Palmer­ston North Film So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Rik Howes out­side Cin­ema Gold, which is set to close on Wed­nes­day

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