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Dunedin Town Hall

Posted By: ABL on Thu, 7 March 2013

RSA choir to 'open' town hall on Anzac Day

7th March 2013 - Otago Daily Times

After nearly three years and more than $45 million spent on restorations and improvements, Dunedin's town hall and neighbouring Dunedin Centre are scheduled to reopen next month.

And on April 25, a group with long links to the venue, the Dunedin RSA Choir, will be the first to perform there. Choir member David More said they were looking forward to returning to the town hall with their Anzac Day Revue.

The choir will debut a new uniform for the occasion.

''Norma'', the town hall organ, was protected and had fans removed and replaced, but was not otherwise touched during the project, which included work on the town hall, Glenroy auditorium and municipal chambers.

Redevelopment project manager David Booth, from Octa Associates, said fire sprinklers had been installed throughout the complex, as had an air-conditioning system.

Other work included new conference, break-out and hospitality spaces, and the installation of lifts and walkways to link the buildings with the municipal chambers.

The town hall ceiling was being painted and restored, LED lighting was being added, its trusses strengthened, and extra service fixtures and a walkway inside the ceiling cavity would be added to enable more equipment to be suspended for shows.

Every wall and floor was removed, with new services installed behind, then either replaced and gib-stopped, painted, carpeted or polished.

Contractors would be busy getting the centre ready for handing over to council-owned venue management company Dunedin Venues Ltd by April 5, he said.

The centre will be officially reopened at a civic reception on April 24.

Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery

Posted By: ABL on Thu, 7 March 2013

New theatre impresses

The News - Lakes District and Central Otago 

28th February 2013

MORE than half a million dollars to build Alexandra’s newest theatre was money well spent, those behind the venture said this week as they prepared to open the venue for its first public viewing.

"The multipurpose theatre would open for business with a feature film, A Whole Lotta Sole, this Saturday, and backers of the project were thrilæ led the theatre was finally completed, Central Cinema chairwoman Karin Bowen said".

"The $650,000 theatre was a valuable asset for the community and would allow a variety of activities and ventures to take place, Mrs Bowen said".

Central Cinema — which raised $160,000 for digital and specialist equipment for it — would be one of the main users of the theatre, which would also be used for peræ formances, lectures, workæ shops and classroom use. The 40æseat tiered theatre, situæ ated at the rear of the Central Stories Museum and Art Galæ lery complex in Alexandra, would also be available for private hire. 

The chairman of the Cenæ tral Cultural Centre Trust, which owns the Central Stories building, Bert Kemp, said it was ‘‘wonderful’’ to see the theatre finally open for business, the key having been handed over by the main contractor, Amalgamated Builders Ltd, last week.   As well as the theatre, the development includes an extra art gallery, ancillary rooms and toilets, all of which can be accessed through the Central Stories complex.

An official opening for the cinema will be held on April 5.

Pitches Store Ophir

Posted By: ABL on Thu, 7 March 2013

1880s store serving in new capacity

The News Lakes District and Central Otago 

28th February 2013

OPHIR’S newest business occupies one of the town’s oldest buildings.   Pitches Store opened in 1863 and, when the original building burned down, it was rebuilt in 1883.   The new building was partially destroyed by fire in the 1950s and was left derelict and used for storage until current owners Colleen and David Hurd bought it seven years ago and undertook a labour of love to return it to its past glory. 

After six years of hard graft the result was Pitches Store accommodation and dining, which opened last year.   Mrs Hurd said the result was worth the effort.   ‘‘We just loved the building and wanted to bring it back to life.   ‘‘This was probably the biggest thing we have ever done.   ‘‘There were moments when we thought ‘what were we thinking?’, but we got there.’’ Mrs Hurd said she could not be happier with the restoration. ‘‘It’s exceeded expectation and we have been really happy with people’s reactions and support,’’ she said. ‘‘People come here and just go ‘wow’. ‘‘and I think they are just so pleased to see it come back to life and be used.’’

It was the support of people throughout Central Otago which surprised her the most, Mrs Hurd said. 

‘‘We didn’t really know what to expect [when we opened for business]. 

‘‘But we have been really supported by people as far away as Maniototo, Roxburgh and Wanaka.’’

Mrs Hurd said the restaurant offered a relaxed atmosphere and a good ambience, with a menu built around local produce.

‘‘We like to use local, fresh ingredients and really lovely, simple flavours.   ‘‘We havea great staff. Our kitchen staff is fantastic,’’ she said. 

Pitches Store is open seven days a week from 10am.   Accommodation is also available.