|By Allan Webb||Prev | Next|
Patronage varied considerably according to suitable programmes, weather, counter attractions and the time of the year. There were still a number of small car chase type movies that had a strong appeal such as Watch Out We're Mad in this year and which continued with Gumball Rally next year.
The first of the popular Rocky films came out this year and probably what could be called the best and most commercial NZ film up until that time was Sleeping Dogs. I might mention that in order to get Rocky in time for screening, I had to go and pick it up after the evening showing from the Regent Theatre in Wanganui. It was a terrible journey going back to Te Awamutu at that time of the morning. I was sick and had to face school after a short sleep. It managed to get 918 admissions plus another 198 on Sunday when it was doubled with The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing. This was in mid-December, which was very good for the time of the year. The week before that we showed another NZ film about skiing, called Off the Edge. It got a total of 843 people in six days. We were lucky to have these films so early and had multiple sessions for both of them. We would have been the first cinema to regularly show “Home Early Evening” sessions for any films that deserved them, starting at around six o'clock. They could be midweek as well as the weekend and quite often a four o'clock session was shown on Saturday or Public Holidays, which seemed to be a popular time and could come in straight after the earlier matinee at 1:30.