One of Dunedin's oldest entertainment halls is to reopen as a
regular live music venue next weekend.
Sammy's nightclub was the pre-eminent venue for touring bands
in the 1980s and 1990s, but has not been used as a regular
music venue for the past 20 years.
''It's too good not to use,'' owner Sam Chin said yesterday,
after announcing Dunedin band Jeez Jorge would be the debut
''Every band wants to play there and I want to get the really
big bands back in there again.
''But it is more difficult now. Since Christchurch closed
down, it's made a big difference.
''We're not getting the big bands coming through on tour like
we used to.''
Sammy's was operated by Mr Chin and his father, late Dunedin
nightclub personality Eddie Chin, from 1983 to 2008, when it
was leased to Sam Carroll, who ran the Big Ups inflatable
amusement centre there.
However, the venue was closed by the New Zealand Fire Service
in June 2010, after investigators described it as ''a
potential death trap''.
The Dunedin City Council issued a ''notice to fix'', which
was later withdrawn after a $40,000 heat and smoke detector
system was installed, exits cleared and evacuation plans
Mr Chin reclaimed and renovated the venue in June 2011, and
has since been hiring it out for university balls and private
''I lost enthusiasm for a while, when the licence was
''The DCC and police opposed the licence because they said it
attracted undesirables and because of complaints from
residents around the area now.''