Wanaka's Cinema Paradiso operator Calum McLeod reclines on
an old dentist's chair which will be added to the cinema's
eclectic movie-seat collection if a proposed extension of
the complex is approved. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
A proposed extension of Wanaka's Cinema Paradiso complex
will maintain the quirky qualities of the popular tourist
attraction, with a dentist's chair to feature among
movie-goers' seating selection.
A resource consent application for two more cinemas next to
the existing single-cinema operation in the former Catholic
church on Brownston St was recently lodged with the
Queenstown Lakes District Council.
Cinema Paradiso relocated from its former site on Ardmore St
last year, following a publicly notified resource consent
It caters for between 80 and 90 people.
If consent for the proposed extension is granted, a new
purpose-built, fully sound-proofed cinema for 50 to 60 people
would be established at the rear of a neighbouring property
owned by Australian developer Duffy Krook, who also owns the
two properties where the existing cinema is located.
A residential house at the front of the adjacent property
would be retained and converted into a much smaller cinema
for private screenings and other functions and additional car
parks would be created.
The development would be funded by Mr Krook, cinema operator
Calum McLeod said.
While the number of movie patrons had increased in the past
year, having only one cinema had restricted the range of
movies which could be screened.
''We're missing out on what I want to see, which is the
art-house product, alternative content, plus acoustic
artists,'' Mr McLeod said.
The extension of the complex would enable more variety in
film and entertainment, while keeping Cinema Paradiso's
internationally acclaimed offbeat appeal - including a
''history of cinema'' theme, movie memorabilia, bean bags,
couches and other unconventional cinema seats, Mr McLeod
''I've managed to secure a dentist's chair, which I think is
going to contribute to making dentists more palatable.''
There was some concern from Cinema Paradiso fans the
attraction would lose some of its atmosphere when it started
operating from the church building midway through last year.
''I think one of the big scares was potentially altering what
we had and I think we've managed the transition.
''People still really appreciate it as being quite an iconic