25 Nov 2011

Sir Peter Jackson buys Wellington theatre

8:31 pm on 25 November 2011

Film director Sir Peter Jackson has bought semi-professional Wellington theatre Bats for $1.1 million.

The Kent Terrace building the theatre has leased for the past 22 years was put on the market about three months ago.

Bats could not afford to buy the building, so approached Sir Peter and his wife Fran Walsh.

The theatre's programme manager Martyn Wood says the purchase secures the future of Bats and means it will be able to stay where it is for at least the next five years.

He describes it as the thespian equivalent of winning the Rugby World Cup.

"I think it is amazing that they have come to support Bats. It's a real vote of confidence in what we do," says Mr Wood.

Bats is known for fostering young performers and helped start the careers of comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, director Taika Waititi, and actress Robyn Malcolm.

Sir Peter takes ownership of the building on 13 January.