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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 live act.
''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The Dunedin City Council issued a ''notice to fix'', which was later withdrawn after a $40,000 heat and smoke detector system was installed, exits cleared and evacuation plans upgraded.
Mr Chin reclaimed and renovated the venue in June 2011, and has since been hiring it out for university balls and private functions.
''I lost enthusiasm for a while, when the licence was objected.
''The DCC and police opposed the licence because they said it attracted undesirables and because of complaints from residents around the area now.''