Globe gets cookin'
Twenty-six months after Palmerston North’s refurbished Globe Theatre was reopened, the venue is at last getting its kitchen.
Persistent lobbying by theatre trust board members Phil Monk and Russell Harris saw work commence on the kitchen last week.
The theatre has operated temporary hospitality facilities without any running water since June 2014.
Initial project cost overruns of nearly $180,000, subsequent changes in fire regulations, delays with consents and a fire report, a funding diversion, and differing interpretations of what the council would finance had contributed to the delay.
Not having anywhere for caterers to keep food warm or even wash dishes had limited the appeal of the building for event organisers.
‘‘It is embarrassing when people hiring the theatre ask about water, and you say ‘well, the toilets are over there’, or point them to the cleaning cupboard,’’ said theatre operations manager Roger Buchanan.
Despite $25,000 being approved by the council for the kitchen at the end of May, there had been ongoing negotiations over the definitions of what constituted ‘‘fabrication’’ and what was ‘‘fitout’’.
‘‘The council only do fabrication – that’s ceiling, floor, wall linings, plumbing, ducting and electrics,’’ Harris said. ‘‘The board is responsible for the cabinets, benchtops, fittings and sinks. The council initially was under the impression that everything had been fabricated.’’
The kitchen area had no ceiling, wall linings or floor covering, and only temporary lighting and power outlets.
While the consents had taken ‘‘ages to get right’’ and the fabrication delays had been ‘‘frustrating’’, Harris, who will have a hands-on role during the $10,000 fitout, is pleased matters have been settled and the work is under way.
The kitchen includes a cafe-bar in the refreshment area with a servery opening onto the theatre foyer, and is expected to be up and cooking by the end of September.
Completion of the kitchen won’t be the end of issues at the Globe, however. Disability access to the main theatre is limited, with just two wheelchair spaces available, while fixing the problem now required structural changes to entranceways and the auditorium, along with further consents.
Globe Theatre Trust Board member Russell Harris is happy the Globe’s kitchen is finally happening.