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Lumière cinema to open at the Arts Centre of Christchurch

Lumière cinema to open at the Arts Centre of Christchurch
December 10, 2018

The golden days of cinema are set to return to Otautahi with the opening of a new boutique cinema at the Arts Centre te Matatiki Toi Ora.

Lumière will be co-owned and managed by well-known cinephile Nick Paris, who has worked in Christchurch’s cinema and film industry for 40 years with Max Hoffman, a former screenwriter who wrote for several major film studios in Hollywood, the other owner.

Having received several high-quality operator proposals, Arts Centre Chief Executive Philip Aldridge sees Lumière as the perfect fit for the Arts Centre, commenting “Nick is synonymous with film in Christchurch and wants the cinema to be a 365-day film festival, which is a brilliant ambition. We’re excited to have him and Max - who are both very experienced and passionate - bring cinema back home to the Arts Centre te Matatiki Toi Ora.

“They believe in our vision of creating a centre of the arts and a hub for creativity with many rich layers of experiences. We look forward to seeing the cinematic world they create.”

Situated in the Arts Centre’s West Lecture building next to the Great Hall, Lumière will have two theatres, state-of-the-art technology, vintage ambience, luxurious seating and a focus on service.

The complex will also feature an intimate, retreat bar, The Bijou Bar, featuring locally-sourced refreshments and overlooking the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Rolleston Avenue.

It is expected to open around Easter 2019.

Looking forward, Paris says Lumière will offer filmgoers a unique experience bringing the magic of cinema to Christchurch.

He advises “Lumière will remind us what it means to go to the cinema - a true event - in a world where people watch films under duvets and on their mobile phones.”

Paris adds that the new cinema will have a strong focus on curated films that will inform, inspire and challenge audiences and the cinema hopes to collaborate with local film-makers, artists and musicians.

The Arts Centre was home to cinemas from 1976 until the February 2011 earthquake significantly damaged many buildings and resulted in the closure of the entire facility. The $290 million restoration programme began in 2012 with buildings being progressively restored and reopened.

The Arts Centre te Matatiki Toi Ora, is a precious taonga with a rich heritage as a centre for education, arts, culture and creativity dating back to 1877 when it housed Canterbury College (now the University of Canterbury). It also originally housed Christchurch Girls’ High School and Christchurch Boys’ High School.

Since 1978 it has been the Arts Centre, an independent charitable trust for the people of Canterbury and its visitors. It is now under the Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Act 2015, an act of Parliament.

It is the largest collection of category one heritage buildings in New Zealand (21 buildings).

The Centre’s $290 million restoration programme is the largest of its type in the world. It is anticipated it will take a total of 10 years.

The West Lecture building opened in 1917 and housed Canterbury College’s largest lecture theatre.

The cinema, combined with other Arts Centre offerings, will offer a complete entertainment and leisure experience that combines film, food and beverage, and special events that create a complete ‘night out’ experience for audiences.

Click here for more information.

Lower image shows the West Lecture building at the Arts Centre of Christchurch.

Related Articles

29th March 2018 - Increase in professional theatre, music and dance in New Zealand communities

27th June 2018 - Christchurch Town Hall redevelopment to include new orchestral space

21st September 2017 - NZ Theatre Month to ‘celebrate and elevate’ New Zealand performing arts

10th July 2017 - Christchurch’s Court Theatre recognised for opening its doors to diversity

4th July 2017 - Christchurch Town Hall repairs on track for mid 2018 completion

22nd February 2017 - Christchurch’s regeneration showcased at AIME 2017

25th August 2016 - Free Theatre to extend lease at Christchurch Arts Centre’s The Gym

19th December 2015 - Christchurch Art Gallery reopens after multi-million dollar repair project

17th June 2014 - Music Centre to be first part of Christchurch Performing Arts Precinct

28th January 2013 - Christchurch arts gets million dollar boost


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