23 Oct 2010

Old Devonport cinema re-opened

12:36 pm on 23 October 2010

Hundreds of people gathered in the Auckland suburb of Devonport on Saturday, for the reopening of the oldest purpose-built cinema in the Southern Hemisphere.

Opened in 1912, the Victoria Picture Palace and Theatre was about to be turned into an apartment complex nine years ago, but community pressure led to the building's restoration.

About 300 people gathered for the reopening, marching down Devonport's main street to bagpipe music.

A kaumatua then blessed the building, which has a theatre and two cinemas.

North Shore City Council purchased it for $1.5 million in 2006.

The Victoria Theatre Trust says the renovations have cost $260,000, most of which came from community fundraising.

The theatre will open for its first public screening on Thursday.