|By Allan Webb||Prev | Next|
The beginning of 1981 started off well with a very early release of The Empire Strikes Back, the next installment in the Star Wars saga and it ran for two weeks to a total of 2,808 admissions.
This year, as a whole, was fairly ordinary with weeks as low as 364 admissions.
The holidays once again performed very well showing the trend that was to become accepted from the mid 90's, that all major films had to be released and screened during the school holidays.
Good Bye Pork Pie was released to the Independents, backed with a major advertising campaign by its New Zealand distributors and even after three months of record breaking business in Hamilton, we managed to get $5,841 from this film. Geoff Murphy was the director and he came to Te Awamutu and autographed a photo from the film for me, which is still on display in the office. When you consider the first release movies in the May and August Holidays attracted strong attendances of 2,125 for Mountain Family Robinson and 1,843 for Smurfs and the Magic Flute, the takings for those two films were $3,691 and $2,660, paling in comparison to Pork Pie.
This is the year that we went very modern in the projection room and became the first theatre in the Waikato to have Xenon Lamphouses installed and placed on reconditioned Centrex projectors, complete with 6,000 foot spools. A semi-automation was also installed by Roy Neale. This meant that each projector could operate for one hour without having to be touched and it was a dream. Installation began on Good Friday in the morning and we had a picture just in time for screening that night. The aperture plate had not been filed out so the picture was a lot smaller than it should have been. Each install seems to be a run against time. Also, a new amplifier was installed, which improved the sound and was virtually trouble free. I also had these same amplifiers installed at Te Kuiti and Taumarunui.