Slap-up cel­e­bra­tions for city’s party palace wanted


The Re­gent on Broad­way is ap­proach­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of its restora­tion, and the city coun­cil is be­ing urged to have a party.

Theatre man­ager Charles Forbes said the mile­stone would be marked with some sort of cel­e­bra­tion in May 2018, but with coun­cil back­ing, it could be ‘‘bril­liant’’.

A $13 mil­lion restora­tion of the his­toric 1930 build­ing was com­pleted in May, 1998.

The plan for a grand an­niver­sary was pitched in a sub­mis­sion on the pro­posed An­nual Plan by theatre pub­li­cist Mal­colm Hop­wood, who pro­posed a fes­ti­val could be paid for in a three-way split be­tween coun­cil, spon­sors and ticket sales.

The es­ti­mate for ratepayers’ share would be about $100,000.

Hop­wood said the an­niver­sary co­in­cided with the city’s 150th birth­day, pro­vid­ing a dou­ble rea­son for a cel­e­bra­tion that could be hosted across the city over 10 or more days.

City coun­cil­lor Jim Jef­feries, who was awarded a QSM partly in ap­pre­ci­a­tion of his ef­forts on the restora­tion project, said it was hard to be­lieve it was al­most two decades since the theatre re­opened.

He said he sup­ported the fes­ti­val plans in prin­ci­ple.

‘‘The Re­gent is re­ally worth cel­e­brat­ing. It is an icon of Palmer­ston North.’’

But the prospect of find­ing an­other $100,000 that had not been bud­geted for would be an­other mat­ter.

The com­mit­tee of coun­cil has set aside two days on May 24-25 to de­bate its bud­get and con­sider sub­mis­sions.

Re­gent on Broad­way in its glad-rags.

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