Globe gets cookin'

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

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.

DAVID UNWIN/FAIR­FAX NZ

Globe Theatre Trust Board mem­ber Rus­sell Har­ris is happy the Globe’s kitchen is fi­nally hap­pen­ing.

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