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Discussions begin on future of Victoria Theatre

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Discussions begin on future of Victoria Theatre

December 15, 2006

North Shore City Council will begin discussions with a commercial cinema operator in an effort to reach agreement about the future use of Victoria Theatre in Devonport.

Lighthouse Cinema (Petone) Ltd was one of three tenderers for the building, and proposes to develop Victoria Theatre into a modern art-house cinema complex.

The decision was made at the full council meeting on Wednesday night.

Mayor George Wood says Lighthouse Cinema is the option that could operate without ongoing financial support from the council.

“We bought the building in order to preserve its heritage value, and believe that this group has the ability to retain the most important features, while upgrading it so people can continue to enjoy it,” he says.

North Shore City Council bought Victoria Theatre in Devonport for $1.55m after public consultation showed support.

Three groups registered their interest in either leasing or buying the building. If discussions with Lighthouse Cinema (Petone) Ltd are unsuccessful, the council will then begin discussions with Victoria Theatre Trust.

Victoria Theatre Trust proposed to redevelop the theatre into a multi-purpose profession and community-based performing arts and cinema venue.

All applications were evaluated against set criteria, which included financial strength and sustainability, management and business acumen, heritage approach and use and community benefits.

In the meantime, Victoria Theatre is closed while further work is done to get it up to health and safety standards.

Ends


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