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Glitzy Launch Event To Open SKYCITY Cinemas

10 August 2006

Glitzy Launch Event To Open SKYCITY Cinemas Queensgate Raises $40,000 For Charity

Close to $40,000 was raised last night at a glitzy red carpet charity event celebrating the opening of SKYCITY Cinemas’ new entertainment complex, marking the completion of the final stage of the $150 million Westfield Queensgate retail centre project.

The cinemas and Westfield Queensgate were officially opened by The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Helen Clark at the charity event. Attended by around 400 people including dignitaries and celebrities, guests were treated to a night of excitement and glamour including the New Zealand premier screening of Miami Vice.

Set to revolutionise the big screen experience for Lower Hutt and Wellington movie-goers, the multiplex which opens to the public today (10 August 2006) offers nine screens and 1543 seats in total. It features a 350-seat “Megascreen” and two premium Gold Class cinemas.

SKYCITY Cinemas’ Chief Executive, Joe Moodabe, says the state-of-the-art Lower Hutt movie complex sets the blueprint for a number of SKYCITY cinema complexes being developed in conjunction with Westfield Shopping Centre destinations, scheduled to take place throughout New Zealand over the next few years.

“As the country’s leading movie exhibitor, we’re thrilled to be able to offer the latest cinema experience to the Hutt Valley region and provide a much broader range of movie options at the same time,” says Mr Moodabe.

“We’re also thrilled to have supported such a well deserving charity as the Te Omanga Hospice at our launch event,” he says.

Eleven portraits of New Zealand celebrities, including the Prime Minister, Tana Umaga, Peter Jackson and Frankie Stevens, painted by children attending art therapy classes at Te Omanga Hospice were auctioned.

Gala guests were able to show their support for the hospice by bidding for the children’s art or by giving a donation to the Te Omanga Hospice. Peter Jackson’s portrait sold for the highest bid on the night, of $6,000, and Frankie Stevens offered to also perform at an event of the successful bidder’s choice for his picture, which raised close to $4,000.

Te Omanga Chief Executive, Biddy Harford, says the event was a huge success and the hospice is delighted with the outcome.

“Services provided by the hospice to the 500 plus patients and families each year is provided free of charge. Without the wonderful support from sponsors and donations we would not be able to continue. We are truly grateful to Westfield, SKYCITY, the celebrities and guests for supporting this fantastic event,” Mrs. Harford said.

The celebrities that agreed to be painted by the children included Aaron Slight – Motor sport Champion, Frankie Stevens - NZ Idol Judge and Entertainer, Grant Kereama and Pauline Gillespie - Radio Hosts, Kate McIlroy - Mountain Running Champion, Lorraine Downes - Dancing with the Stars Winner and Business Woman, Ma’a Nonu - All Black, Oscar Kightley - Actor and Play Writer, Peter Jackson - Film Director, Stephen Fleming - NZ Black Caps and Tana Umaga - Recently Retired All Black.

In addition to the new SKYCITY cinemas, the Westfield Queensgate shopping complex is home to over 171 stores comprising speciality shops and kiosks, four major retailers, and is complemented by 1,855 car parks.

Te Omanga Hospice, located in Hutt City, Wellington, offers counselling to children through art therapy classes to help them understand and cope with the death of their family member. The Te Omanga art therapy programme has been successfully operating for over a decade, providing counselling to hundreds of children and art therapy classes to help them understand and cope with the death or illness of a family member.


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