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History of the Regent Theatre: 2001

By Allan Webb Prev | Next

Christmas/New Year 2000/2001 was quite good with Charlie's Angels and What Women Want but until Billy Elliot started the figures were low. Billy took off and was well received by everyone.

The next holidays were quite good but business was quiet until Pearl Harbor opened to a private sell-out in June and continued to do a good season. Word-of-mouth was very good and Te Awamutu did better than most places on a per capita basis. It became one of my all-time best films.

Shrek started in the second week of the July School Holidays and gave us a phenomenal week and figures kept up after that for several weeks running into Bridget Jones Diary which was well received and kept running to good figures for an extended season.

The September School Holidays were good as well, thanks to Cats and Dogs.

The Wellington Film Festival people gave us an inaugural Film Festival in November which helped to keep figures at a respectable level. Without it we would have had hardly any people through the Theatre doors.

The first of the two huge films from Roadshow, Harry Potter, opened at the beginning of November and the afternoon matinees in the first two weekends were full. I had been thinking of upgrading our “water” air conditioning system by installing a refrigerator in the water to cool it down. The cost of this plus new filters ended up being about the same as a new refrigerated unit so I decided to go with an entirely new system. Installation plus new ducting and all the trimmings ended up with a cost considerably more than budgeted for. The weight was double the original unit and the trusses had to be strengthened. There was a lot of trial and error to get the unit working correctly, but it was going to be ready for the second big film, which was Lord of the Rings; Fellowship of the Ring. It was a sound investment. With the large numbers, long sessions (four a day at three hours running time), high temperatures and extremely high humid conditions, the old system would never have coped. As it was, the theatre was running at an average of 21.5 degrees, which was very acceptable.

Lord of the Rings gave us more full night sessions than I care to remember and was to become the biggest grossing film ever to screen in Te Awamutu. It beat The Lion King record in week four.

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